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Divorce rates rise when the wife gets sick

A new study done by Iowa State University assistant professor of human development and family studies Amelia Karraker and colleague Kenzie Latham showed that divorce rates rise by 6% when wives contract a serious illness, the Washington Post reported on March 6.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, found that the rate of divorce did not increase when husbands became sick, however. Although it may seem easy to jump to conclusions, Karraker warned against hasty blanket judgments about gender. The data was merely numbers, not accompanied by the reasons for divorce or who initiated the divorce.

The study used data from marriages between 1992 and 2010 collected by the Health and Retirement Study at the University of Michigan.

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