Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Unhappy marriages detrimental to self-esteem and health

25.01.2006


Long-term, low-quality marriages have significant effects on overall well-being, according to a recent study by Penn State researchers.



Daniel Hawkins, graduate student, and Alan Booth, distinguished professor of sociology, human development and family studies, and demography, said that people who remain unhappily married suffer from lower levels of self-esteem, overall health, overall happiness, and life satisfaction along with elevated levels of psychological distress, in contrast to those in long-term happy marriages.

Booth states, "Unhappily married people may have greater odds of improving their well-being by dissolving their low-quality unions as there is no evidence that they are better off in any aspect of overall well-being than those who divorce."


Until now, the impact of remaining in an unhappy marriage for a number of years has received little attention. Social scientists have consistently found that married individuals have better psychological and physical well-being than those who are single or divorced. Similarly, research has demonstrated the detrimental impact of divorce on the well-being of individuals. However, Hawkins and Booth expected that in long-term, low-quality marriages, the negative impact of marital unhappiness would outweigh the potential benefits that marriage would otherwise confer.

People in unhappy marriages were tracked over a 12-year period in a national study of married individuals who are representative of the U.S. population. During the 12-year study, 1,150 participants were interviewed at four separate time points.

To assess individual’s marital happiness, specific aspects of marriage such as agreement, faithfulness, overall happiness, helping around the house, and whether the marriage was getting better or worse were measured. In order to be classified as unhappily married, individuals had to consistently score below the average marital happiness of everyone in the study.

"Given the findings of this study, unhappily married individuals do not reap benefits related to overall happiness, life satisfaction, self-esteem, and health, typically associated with marriage," the researchers said. "The social and emotional support available to individuals from marriage is not being obtained by those who are unhappily married."

In fact, despite the negative consequences of divorce that lower people’s psychological well-being, there is some evidence that remaining unhappily married is more detrimental than divorcing. Individuals who divorce and remain unmarried have greater life satisfaction and higher levels of self-esteem and overall health than unhappily married individuals, according to the study. Hawkins and Booth published their findings in the paper, "Unhappily Ever After: Effects of Long-Term, Low Quality Marriages on Well-Being," which appeared in a recent (September) issue of the journal, Social Forces.

Vicki Fong | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.psu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors

22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Radioactivity from oil and gas wastewater persists in Pennsylvania stream sediments

22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Saarland University bioinformaticians compute gene sequences inherited from each parent

22.01.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks Wissenschaft & Forschung
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>