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Several demographic factors predict how well a marriage might fare, according to NCHS data.One is ethnicity: Asian women and foreign-born Hispanic men, for example, have the highest chance of the demographic groups studied that their marriages will last 20 years (70 percent), while black women have the lowest rate of reaching the two-decade mark (37 percent).By looking at how the Early Years of Marriage Project participants rated their marital happiness over time, she and her colleagues found couples tended to fit into two groups: those whose happiness started high and stayed that way, and those whose contentment started medium or low and got worse (, 2012).Still, many happy honeymooners go on to divorce years later.
Not surprisingly, the researchers found that on the most stressful days, spouses reported more negative behaviors toward their partners and less satisfaction with their relationships.Now, thanks to longitudinal studies of thousands of couples and emerging research on previously understudied partnerships, one answer is becoming more apparent: Why some couples stick together isn't so much a coin toss as a science."Today, we have a pretty good idea of what's likely to make for a good marriage," says Stony Brook University researcher Arthur Aron, Ph D.Lower-income groups, however, experienced more problems related to economic and social issues such as drinking or drug abuse (, 2012)."[Low-income couples] don't say, ‘If only we had more skills training and better communication,'" says Karney.