A university education not linked to lower divorce rate for African-American women
The research, led by Assistant Professor Jeounghee Kim, states that higher education among black American women does not have a strengthening effect on marriage, as it seems to have for many white couples. She said:
“For white Americans, higher education is related to a lower chance of divorce, and this protective effect of education on marriage increased consistently among recent generations. But for African-American women, higher education is not necessarily related to a lower chance of divorce.”
Assistant Professor Kim discussed possible reasons for higher education not benefitting the marriages of black American women:
“One possibility is that college education does not translate into the higher earnings that would help protect marriage for African-Americans”.
“Another could be that educational attainment may be insufficient to address the high levels of economic inequality that even well-educated African-Americans experience. Many are the first in their families to have attained a post-secondary education and do not benefit from the cushion of intergenerational wealth possessed by some white families”.
The Assistant Professor said another reason could be the gender gap in African-American educational achievement. There are almost twice as many female African-American graduates than male graduates. Kim reflected:
“Well-educated white women may still have power to select an equally well-educated mate. Then, there may be a synergy factor—higher incomes, better and healthier lives, smarter kids—that helps sustain their marriage.”
The study examined groups of white American and African-American women in five year marriage cohorts from 1975 to 1979, ending in 1995 to 1999.
Photo by jarnott via Flickr under a creative commons license
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