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The type of arguments couples experience may be a reliable predicator for the risk of divorce, according to new research.
Lead researcher Sonya Britt, an assistant professor of family studies and human services at Kansas State University, found conflict or disagreements over money were found to be the clearest sign of potential trouble ahead.
As part of the study, data involving 4,500 couples was analyzed from the latest National Survey of Families and Households.
The results controlled for such variables as income, net worth and accumulated debt, according to Britt.
“It didn’t matter how much you made or how much you were worth,” she said. “Arguments about money are the top predictor for divorce because it happens at all levels.”
“Making up from a financial disagreement
takes longer than other arguments.”
Britt found making up from a financial disagreement takes longer than other arguments involving different topics. Additionally, couples were found to use harsher language and have more prolonged fights over money.
A pattern of arguments can often be traced back from very early on in the relationship. Britt sees this as a clear warning sign of potential strain.
“It doesn’t matter how long ago it was, when they were first together and already arguing about money, there is a good chance they are going to have poor relationship satisfaction,” she said.
According to the findings, a recurrence of these arguments can diminish the quality of a relationship over time and lead to difficulties with stress and parenting skills.
“This is important because people who are stressed are very short-term focused,” Britt said. “They don’t plan for the future. If you can reduce stress, you can increase planning.”
From: Kansas State University.