Relationship quality tied to good health for young adults

Posted on June 27, 2016

Using the Iowa Youth and Families Project, a sample of all-white youth coming from two-parent, married families in rural Iowa, Barr says about one-third of the sample experienced relatively large changes in their relationships over a two-year period.

"We took into account satisfaction, partner hostility, questions about criticism, support, kindness, affection and commitment," says Barr. "We also asked about how partners behave outside of the relationship. Do they engage in deviant behaviors? Is there general anti-sociality?"

Barr says the longer people are in high-quality relationships, or the faster they get out of low-quality relationships, the better their health.

"It's not being in a relationship that matters; it's being in a long-term, high-quality relationship that's beneficial," she says. "Low-quality relationships are detrimental to health. The findings suggest that it's better for health to be single than to be in a low-quality relationship."

Barr says the attention to changes in these relationships is important, particularly in the context of the extended transition to adulthood.

"It's rare today for young adults to enter a romantic relationship and stay in that relationship without ever changing partners or relationship characteristics," she says. "We now have two studies that found similar patterns and similar implications for those changes."

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Category(s):Health / Illness / Medical Issues, Relationships & Marriage

Source material from Science News


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