The Psychology of Everyday Life:Love, Marriage, and the Baby Carriage


Are there health benefits to marriage?

In general, marriage confers benefits for both emotional and physical health. Married people tend to report higher life satisfaction and lower psychological distress than single people, meaning those who never married, or are widowed or divorced. This must be qualified, however, by the quality of the marriage. Unhappily married people report greater emotional distress than single people. Thus, it appears that being married has benefits over being single, unless one is unhappily married. It is also not clear whether the benefits are solely due to marriage per se or to the benefits of any long-term, committed relationship. Research is very clear that social support is a critical protective factor against emotional and physical stress. It is no surprise, therefore, that single people who establish solid social support networks often report high life satisfaction.


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