People Who Get Married in Mid-30s or Later at Higher Risk for Divorce, New Study Suggests

Study Finds Higher Divorce Rate Mid Thirties
New marriage study
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07/21/2015 AT 02:40 PM EDT

Thanks a lot, science, for adding even more pressure to the already nerve–racking decision to get married. 

A new study from University of Utah psychologist Nicholas H. Wolfinger found that those who marry in their mid-30s (or, gasp, later) are more likely to divorce than people who marry in their late 20s. (This is either anxiety-inducing or validating, depending if you are asking us or our mothers.) 

Wolfinger found that before the age of 32, odds of divorce decrease by 11 percent with each additional year of age at marriage. (That is, getting married at age 29, rather than 28, reduces your risk of divorce by 11 percent.) 

"However, after that, the odds of divorce increase by 5 percent per year," he writes.



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For years, data has suggested that older is always better when it comes to reduced risk for divorce – which is why these findings are particularly surprising. 

"But what was true for decades no longer seems to be the case," he writes, noting that the result stood up to his controls for social factors, including race, education and socioeconomic background.

Wolfinger cites a couple of possibilities for his findings, though it's not yet clear what has caused the new trend.

"Does the experience of staying unmarried well past the age of 30 somehow make people unfit for a lasting marriage?" he writes. "It's possible to envision a scenario where this might be the case, particularly in the form of a complicated relationship history. If you've had many boyfriends or girlfriends, your exes might play havoc with your marriage."

Well, we've heard enough. Excuse us while we get back on eHarmony.
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