A recent study released in the October issue of the Journal of Family Issues indicates that career women who are the family breadwinners are nearly 40% more likely to get a divorce than women without the same economic resources. This study, based on data covering 25 years, examines the relationship between wives’ economic resources and the risk of marital dissolution. The author of the study found that the economic resources of women are tightly linked to the risk of divorce, both negatively and positively.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women were the majority of payroll employees as of March 2010. Researchers found that the tipping point occurs when the wife pulls in at least 60% of the family’s income. Couples in this position were 38% more likely in any given year to get divorced. Race was also a factor, as divorce was much more common for white couples than black couples.
The author of the study also emphasized the importance of the generational divide: while Baby Boomers and Generation X couples may still believe in the male breadwinner, the Millennial generation may feel differently. The author indicates that the group of women represented in the study did not include the Millennial generation, who may expect or desire to be their families’ breadwinners.