Positive and Negative Marriages Affect How Couples Rate Their Health

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New research shows marriage quality could impact how couples rate their own health.
Christine Proulx, with the University of Missouri, said as happily married couples age, they are more likely to consider themselves healthy.

Proulx looked at data collected over two decades from 707 married adults, ultimately concluding both positive and negative marriages have a big impact on how individuals rate their health.


“Positive and negative marriages have a big

impact on how individuals rate their health.”

Interestingly, Proulx also found this pattern repeated itself at every stage of marriage, indicating marital quality influences the health of young couples as deeply as it can support or compromise the health of aging partners.

Looking over the data, Proulx concluded aging adults whose physical health is declining could especially benefit from improving their marriages.

She also noted healthcare professionals and individuals need to consider improving relationship quality an important step when it comes to ensuring long-lasting health, even when it comes to treating severe illnesses.

“We often think about the aging process as something we can treat medically with a pill or more exercise, but working on your marriage also might benefit your health as you age,” she said. “Engaging with your spouse is not going to cure cancer, but building stronger relationships can improve both people’s spirits and well-being and lower their stress.”

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