The nearly universal perspective of marriage as an indispensable social institution has been changing significantly in recent decades. Besharov and West (2002) present evidence which shows that over the past fifty years, for all Americans, marriage rates have declined while divorce rates and out-of-wedlock births have climbed. Negative changes have been greatest among African Americans. In 1998, approximately 29% of African American women aged fifteen and over were married compared to 55% of White women (Besharov & West, 2002).
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African American Healthy Marriage Initiative Paper.
Connecting Marriage Research to Practice Conference (2006 : Chapel Hill, NC)