Why is the Divorce Rate Higher in Black Families?

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This article examines why the divorce rate is higher in blacks and points out factors contributing to the high African American divorce rate.

Researchers found that the rate of divorce for African American black women in their first marriage is 70 percent compared to a 47 percent divorce rate in white women’s marriages. This is an astonishing statistic and to many of us in the black community, this should sound an alarm to give us a wake up call.

One specific reason we should wake up is: Black families benefit more financially from marriage than do whites. If we can’t stay married then how can we expect to improve our economic, social and psychological well-being? What are we doing wrong?

According to Andrew Cherlin, professor of sociology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., “Blacks are more likely to get divorced because, first they are poorer, and poverty strains marriages…”

Watch Video on Why Black Women are less likely to get Married

In a study called “The Topography of the Divorce Plateua,” Dr. R. Kelly Raley and Dr. Larry Bumpass revealed that factors such as age, education and income which are major contributors to the stability of all marriages, affects African American couples more than other couples from other races. The research points out that marital stability is interfered with whenever uncertainties about education and income are at play.

Good_Times_the_Evans_family_1974Divorce 360 expert Dr. Pamela Thompson, an Atlanta psychologist, who counsels couples in marriage therapy as part of her practice explains,. “What puts more pressure on an Afro-American married couple is that the female earns more than the male in many instances, and she has a more favorable career track…” If the head of a household is a man who isn’t pulling his weight, then he makes the whole family vulnerable.” Dr. Thompson also criticizes black women for contributing to the problem. “In recent years there is harshness to black womanhood. Because her world is harder and tougher it makes marriage for her much more fragile,” Thompson said.

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As a community, we have to do something about this. It’s alarming that in the 1940s only 18 percent of black women got divorced compared to nearly 70 percent today. If the divorce rate amongst blacks continues to climb, then we have very little hope of continuing to call ourselves a community. Why should we claim “black community” and preach support black owned when we can’t even establish a black family? Think back to the “Good Times” that’s what black family was all about!
Read Divorce Statistics: Effects on the Black Community

Source: Divorce360.com/African-Americans are Less Likely to Marry and More Likely to Divorce, Studies Show
Photo by CBS Television via Wikimedia Commons

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