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Military marriages not prone to divorce

May 14, 2012 at 12:06 AM   |   Comments

LOS ANGELES, May 13 (UPI) -- Although marriages of members of the U.S. military may have more challenges, they are not more vulnerable than civilian marriages, researchers say.

Benjamin R. Karney of the University of California, Los Angeles, and David S. Loughran and Michael S. Pollard, both of Rand Corp., analyzed records from 1998 to 2005 provided by the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, which collects data about all men on active duty.

"Since military operations began in Afghanistan and Iraq, lengthy deployments have led to concerns about the vulnerability of military marriages," the researchers said in a statement.

The researchers compared the military data to the Current Populations Surveys from the same years, which documents statistics about civilians.

The study, published in the Journal of Family Issues, found despite the fact that more service members began to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan from 2002 to 2005, the divorce rates for military remained constant, and did not exceed the divorce rates of civilian couples.

"A possible explanation for this pattern is that time spent in military service enhances the stability of military marriages," the researchers said.

The researchers suggested the extensive benefits provided to married military members, such as housing supplements, cost of living bonuses, the ability to live off-base with their families and full spousal healthcare coverage, help spouses cope during deployments.

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