A recent study from the University of Maryland has shown that members of the generation born in and after the mid 1980s are divorcing at a lower rate than older cohorts.

Philip Cohen, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland, released an analysis Sept. 15 which drew on census data to show that the divorce rate in the United States had dropped by 18 percent between the years 2008 and 2016. The drop was credited in large part to millennials staying married–even if they are marrying at lower rates than previous generations did at the same age.

Dr. John Grabowski, associate professor of moral theology and ethics at the Catholic University of America, told CNA that he believes the report is “kind of good news and bad news.”

“The good news is: the divorce rate is falling, particularly among millennials. The bad news is less people are getting married, especially poorer people. Many people are just choosing to cohabit.”

Grabowski hypothesized that the lower divorce rates among millennials could be partly explained by marriage no longer being considered a social an expectation or requirement among their generation.

This means that those who do marry are being “much more intentional” about the process, he said. “In some ways they’re swimming against the tide a bit culturally by doing that.”

Additionally, Grabowski suggested that the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 70s had led to an increased exposure to the negative effects of divorce on men, women, and children.

“We have decades of social scientific research that shows that people who do get married do better economically, health-wise, and emotionally than people who remain unmarried or who simply cohabit or serially cohabit with different people,” Grabowski said.

The largest group of people living in poverty in the United States are single-parent households with children, “usually headed by women,” Grabowski added.

Full story at Catholic News Agency.