Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Depressed people benefit more from marriage than others

15.08.2006
Depressed singles receive greater psychological benefits from getting married than those who are not depressed, new research shows.

While many studies have shown that marriage helps boost well-being, most studies have looked at a general, average population and don't examine whether some people were helped more by marriage than others.

“Our findings question the common assumption that marriage is always a good choice for all individuals,” said Adrianne Frech, co-author of the study and a doctoral student in sociology at Ohio State University.

Frech conducted the study with Kristi Williams, assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State. Williams said the study was the first to compare how depressed and non-depressed people benefit from marriage.

“Those ‘average' benefits of marriage may be largely limited to people who are depressed before they entered marriage,” Williams said. “There may not be strong benefits for everyone.”

Frech will present their findings Aug. 13 in Montreal at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.

The researchers used data collected by the National Survey of Families and Households, which interviewed a representative sample of Americans in 1987-88 and then re-interviewed them in 1992-94. They used data from 3,066 people who were unmarried at the time of the first interview.

They measured depression using 12 questions in the survey which asked respondents the number of days in the last week that they “felt like they could not shake off the blues,” “slept restlessly,” or “felt lonely.”

For those who got married, the researchers also examined measures of marital happiness and marital conflict.

Frech said they were surprised that depressed people in this study benefited the most from marriage.

“We actually found the opposite of what we expected,” Frech said. “We thought depressed people would be less likely to benefit from marriage because the depression of one spouse can put a strain on the marriage and undermine marital quality.”

Indeed, the study confirmed Williams' previous research that found levels of marital quality and conflict were key in determining depression levels in individuals after marriage. As would be expected, people who report marriages that are high in quality and low in conflict are less likely to be depressed.

Also, the study found that depressed people who got married reported overall lower levels of marital quality than did individuals who were not depressed. But even so, depressed people still benefited more psychologically from marriage than did non-depressed people.

The results didn't show any differences between men and women in the links between marriage and depression.

Although the study didn't look at why depressed people benefit more from marriage, the researchers believe they may have more to gain.

“If you start out happy, you don't have as far to go,” Williams said. “But also, depressed people may just be especially in need of the intimacy, the emotional closeness, and the social support that marriage can provide.

“Marriage may give depressed people a greater sense that they matter to someone, while people who weren't depressed prior to marriage may have always thought that way.”

The researchers noted that the people in this study had been married 5 years at most. There may changes in the psychological benefits as the marriage progresses, and as couples have children or get divorced.

But the results suggest that marriage doesn't have equal benefits for everyone.

“We can't focus just on average effects of marriage on well-being,” Frech said. “As this study shows, there is a great deal of variability in the benefits of marriage.”

Kristi Williams | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.sociology.osu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Physics of bubbles could explain language patterns
25.07.2017 | University of Portsmouth

nachricht Obstructing the ‘inner eye’
07.07.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

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: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists gain new insights into nanosystems with spherical confinement

27.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

Seeing more with PET scans: New chemistry for medical imaging

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Did you know that infrared heat and UV light contribute to the success of your barbecue?

27.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>