Monday, May 20, 2024

Is it Really Happily Ever After? Singles are Just as Happy As or Even Happier than Married Couples by Xantha Leatham, Deputy Science Editor

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Marriage does not make people any happier or healthier than singles, research suggests. Scientists examined the physical and mental health of married people and those who never said ‘I do.’ Getting married showed ‘little evidence’ of improving well-being in the long term, University of California researchers said.

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Dr Bella DePaulo, who led the study, expands on the findings in her book Single at Heart: The Power, Freedom, And Heart-Filling Joy of Single Life. A study by the author, which was published in 2016, says: 'The media, and even scientific journals, are filled with claims that marriage is good for health and well-being. Scientists examined the physical and mental health of married people and those who never said ‘I do’. A closer look at the research, though, with an eye on the methodological biases, shows that such claims often misrepresent or exaggerate the results of the research.' 

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She continued: 'Examples of research on suicide, depression, loneliness, physical health, and happiness are reviewed. In cross-sectional research, people who stay single typically have very similar outcomes to those who are currently married. 'In longitudinal research, there is little evidence that getting married results in lastingly improved health or well-being.'

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch

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