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BYU Study Shows that Happily Married People are Healthier, Too

by Norris Law Group on May 23, 2014

byu_logoThe Deseret News reports that a July 2013 study by Brigham Young University published in the Journal of Marriage and Family found that couples who are happily married are healthier over the long term as well.

The study’s findings show a correlation between levels of happiness in a marriage and the physical health of the spouses. Separate graphed lines depicting happiness levels and physical well-being both show a definite upward trajectory, while graphed lines representing unhappiness in a marriage and physical health both trend downward together.

The researchers concluded, “These results not only reinforce the effect of negative marital quality on declining health but also call attention to the important influence of positive marital quality on maintaining good health.”

Lead author Rick Miller, a professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University, says the study is the longest longitudinal study of marriage quality and health ever completed, having tracked the study participants for two decades. Dr. Miller adds,

“Marital conflict is a significant risk factor for health and mental health…Marital quality matters. The evidence is mounting that a relationship’s quality — the ability to get along, to support each other, to regulate conflict — is an important factor for health.”

While other research has shown a strong connection to marital satisfaction and overall health of married couples, the BYU study is the most recent to highlight the correlation. Miller and his co-authors Joseph Olsen of BYU, David Law of Utah State and Cody Hollist of the University of Nebraska contend that the effect of the correlation between marital satisfaction and health is so strong that health insurance should cover the cost of marital counseling if it’s needed to strengthen a marriage, with the intent of preventing future health problems.

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County and throughout Utah in the area of divorce and family law. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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