New Study Reveals Young Adults’ Views on Marriage

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Despite the rise of marriage age among young adults, BYU researchers performed a study which found that young adults are not disapproving of marriage, they are just delaying it.

“Young adults aren’t dismissing this idea of marriage,” Brian Willoughby, professor in BYU’s School of Family Life told Church News. “We asked them, ‘How important is marriage to you?’ and ‘How central do you think it is going to be in your life?’ They were still giving very positive responses.”

The study examined 700 young single adults, ages 18-30. Part one of the study included an online survey, asking participants about their feelings on marriage.  For part two of the study, researchers followed 150 of the original 700 participants, checking in with them every two to three years to examine how, or if, their views on marriage had changed with time.

“We were able to track how their thinking process about marriage was actually changing over the course of those two and three years,” Willoughby told Church News. “That is helping us start to really understand what the nature of marriage looks like for young adults and how they are navigating school and career and friends and relationships and all this stuff that is happening to them.”

Willoughby found that the idea of marriage is not a problem for young single adults. The problem happens when they try to follow counsel of Church leaders without disregarding the world’s views on marriage.

Ultimately, the study showed that successful marriages come from working together toward a common goal, no matter the age at which the couples were married.

“The research suggests that there is something about growing together and going through trials together that is pretty powerful for a lot of couples,” Willoughby told Church News. “It takes sacrifice, and I think there are a lot of positive long-term benefits that come from that.”