Top Stories - Posted by Andy Henion-Michigan State on Monday, June 4, 2012 11:38 - 1 Comment
Married people often happier in long run
MICHIGAN STATE (US) — Although marriage does not make people happier, it appears to protect against normal declines in happiness during adulthood.
“Our study suggests that people on average are happier than they would have been if they didn’t get married,” says Stevie C.Y. Yap, a researcher in the psychology department at Michigan State University.
Yap, Ivana Anusic, and Richard Lucas studied the data of thousands of participants in a long-running, national British survey. They set out to find whether personality helps people adapt to major life events, including marriage. The findings are reported online in the Journal of Research in Personality.
Straight from the Source
The answer, essentially, was ‘No’. Personality traits such as conscientiousness or neuroticism do not help people deal with losing a job or having a baby, the researchers found.
“Past research has suggested that personality is important in how people react to important life events,” Yap says. “But we found that there were no consistent effects of personality in how people react and adapt to these major events.”
In general, similar-aged participants who did not get married showed a gradual decline in happiness as the years passed.
Those who were married, however, largely bucked this trend. It’s not that marriage caused their satisfaction level to spike, Yap notes, but instead kept it, at least, stable.
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