Mental Benefits of a Relationship on Well Being (WJEC)

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  • Mental Benefits of a Relationship
    • Buffering Effect: When in a strong social relationship the effects of stress are reduced and social support helps to improve our mental health
      • Cohane (1988): admissions to a mental health institute:
        • 0.79% were single
        • 0.26% were married
        • 0.98% were widowed
        • 1.4% were divorced
      • Argyle (1985): People who are divorced are more likely to commit suicide or suffer from mental health issues
      • Verott (1981): Happiness Levels:
        • Married Men: 35%
        • Married Women: 41%
        • Divored Men: 18.5%
        • Divorced Women: 18.5%
      • Brown & Harris: Women with a supportive husband have a 10% chance of developing depression compared to 41% without one
      • Evaluation: do people get married because they're happy? or Happy because they're married?
        • Limited research on cohabiting couples: important psychological differences between those who are married and those who live together
        • Buffering Effect on friendship as well but family relations are more important
        • Most of the research is on romantic relationships
    • Happiness Effect:People in relationships are significantly happier
      • Bradburn (1969): Argues marriage is good for you
        • Happiness Levels:
          • 35% in married men and women
          • 7% in divorced men and women
          • 40% in separated men and women
        • However: it was conducted in the USA, where being married was the norm
          • Demand Characteristics: in 1969 people aimed to get married
      • Evaluation:
        • Studies were conducted MANY years ago
        • Marriage may have fewer beneficial effects now than they used to have
        • In previous years it was only acceptable to start a family once married but changing times made is less nessacary


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