Unhappy marriages encourage ill health, study suggests
Researchers at Brigham Young University followed 1,681 married people for 20 years, in what is believed to be the longest study of the links between married life and health to date. The subjects were asked to rank their health and provide details of any marital problems, such as arguments about in-laws and money.
They found a clear link between conflict with spouses and both ill health and unhappiness at work:
“The results showed that negative marital interaction was associated with significantly lower work satisfaction and poorer health for men. Higher negative marital interaction scores were significantly related to elevated depression scores for both women and men.”
Researcher Rick Miler said:
“The implication is that marital conflict is a risk factor for poor health. Couples that fight or argue frequently should get professional help to reduce their conflict because it is affecting their health.”
Similarly, concludes Miller, happy marriages support health by encouraging a healthier lifestyle and providing emotional support during stressful times.
“When spouses have a bad day, in a happy marriage, they’re more likely to support each other and empathize with each other. That support reduces stress and helps buffer against a decline in health.”
The study was entitled “What Happens at Home Does Not Necessarily Stay at Home”: The Relationship of Observed Negative Couple Interaction With Physical Health, Mental Health, and Work Satisfaction. It appears in the current issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family.
Rick Miller is a professor in the Brigham Young University Family Life department.
Photo by desireefawn via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence
Share this post
Get free family law updates
Marilyn Stowe’s new book: expert advice on all aspects of divorce, from just 99p!
Divorce & Splitting Up by Marilyn Stowe is the essential how-to book for anyone who is getting divorced or splitting up from a partner. Read more >>
"A must buy that really opens your eyes to what is involved if you are considering or going through a divorce." - Amanda Brown
"This will answer your questions in a way that non-lawyers can understand." - Miss P.
"Don't get divorced without it. I read this book despite being divorced for more than 10 years. I wish I'd had this book to hand at the time. Great examples, simple to read and understand." - Jamie
"This really has helped me to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel and I will come out of it a stronger person." - J
Marilyn Stowe on SKY News & ITV This Morning
- Luke on A judicial dilemma by John Bolch
- Julie Oliver on Court of Appeal says judge did not recognise full impact of adoption
- Anon on A judicial dilemma by John Bolch
- Stitchedup on A judicial dilemma by John Bolch
- Stitchedup on Older couples should be encouraged to stay together, Tory MP claims
Subscribe & Follow
In the Media
Marilyn Stowe is the senior partner in Stowe Family Law, which has offices in Yorkshire, Cheshire and London. With more than 30 years’ experience handling divorce cases and family law proceedings she is regarded as one of the most formidable and sought after divorce lawyers in the UK. In 2012, Marilyn became one of the first solicitors to qualify as a family law arbitrator.
All persons mentioned in the scenarios are fictitious: details have been deliberately changed in order to protect identities and other confidential circumstances of my clients. All advice and information on this blog including posts written by guest authors, is given only as a general guide to the operation of the law on the date of publication. Readers must place no reliance whatsoever on the content of this blog and must always obtain their own legal advice. Marilyn Stowe, Stowe Family Law LLP and guest authors accept no liability whatsoever arising as a result of reliance upon its content.
Contact Stowe Family Law
These downloads accompany Marilyn Stowe's latest book: Divorce & Splitting Up: Advice From a Top Divorce Lawyer. After opening, right click to save to your computer.
For more free downloads, visit the Downloads section.