A new study revealed that Mormon young adults typically marry about two years younger than their peers nationally.
Lead study author Brian Willoughby, a professor at Brigham Young University, surveyed 571 unmarried students at Ball State University in Indiana. In the survey, participants chose which category, out of four, represented their top priorities in the future: marriage, parenthood, career or personal hobbies.
The study found that young adults aren’t delaying marriage out of a lack of interest, rather they want to put everything else in order before marriage.
“We’ve been tracking this shift in what marriage means to young adults,” Willoughby told Medical Xpress. “Instead of marriage being thought of as the foundation on which you build a life with someone, it’s now a sort of capstone. They see it in terms of, ‘If you get through college and you have careers, getting married is how you reward yourself.'”
The research highlighted this marital paradox: marriage is as important as ever to young adults, yet they increasingly delay getting married because of the importance that it holds.
“From this perspective, young adults are not delaying marriage due to disinterest toward or an abandonment of marriage,” Willoughby said. “But because they desire to put themselves in the best position to develop a healthy marital relationship.”
Even though Mormons typically marry two years younger than the national average, Mormons’ marital age has increased along with national trends.