Young adults who expect to get married in the next five years are less likely to commit delinquent acts, according to a new study from researchers at Ohio State University.
The study, published online in the Journal of Marriage and Family, analyzed 7,057 people who were 15 to 20 years old in 2000 and 2001. They were asked the percent chance they would be married in the next five years and whether they had committed delinquent acts.
"You may start to act married even before the wedding," Rachel Arocho, lead author of the study and a research fellow in human development and family science at Ohio State University, told EurekAlert!.
According to EurekAlert!, this study highlights the importance of marriage in modern society, "even though many Americans are delaying the relationship until they're older."
However, through an online survey, the researchers found that young adults weren't dismissing the idea of marriage and responded positively to questions like "How important marriage is to you?" and "How central do you think it is going to be in your life?"
"Marriage is still very much a goal for the vast majority of young adults, despite decreases in actual marital transitions," according to the study.
The Deseret News reported on a 2015 BYU study that found marriage to still be an important factor to young adults. But other research has found marriage dropping down the priority list as young adults wait until they are financially stable before tying the knot.
There are other benefits to marriage other than reducing acts of delinquency as it reduces anti-social behavior, child victimization and incarceration, according to familyfacts.org.
WebMD mentioned that married couples are more likely to engage in safe behavior than non-married couples — "there is less risk-taking and substance abuse when couples marry — even less than if they just move in together."
Additionally, people who are in happy and healthy martial relationships are more likely to follow doctors' recommendations.