Men are also more likely to engage in risky

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Chapter 14 / Exercise 5
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Men are also more likely to engage in risky behaviours prior to marriage than women are (Umberson, 1987) Thus, women do not benefit as much from a reduction in such behaviours once they are married Marital quality hypotheses : only good marriages lead to better health physically and psychologically The quality of one’s marriage can greatly affect the link between marriage and health The stress buffering hypothesis states: “the negative consequences of stress are diminished by the presence of social support . . . [thus] the quality of the marriage impacts the effectiveness of the protective function of marriage” (Riessman & Gerstel, 1985, p. 288) The protection hypothesis works only if the marriage is good (Continued) The social strain hypothesis states: “not only do unfulfilling marriages fail to protect the individuals involved but [they] can also impede the well-being of the marriage partners” (Riessman & Gerstel, 1985, p. 288)
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Chapter 14 / Exercise 5
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Positive relationship quality (e.g., marital harmony and marital satisfaction) is associated with higher levels of well-being across the life course Negative quality (e.g., conflict) is associated with poor physical and psychological health Unfortunately, negative quality has a greater impact on health than positive quality does, especially for women (Kiecolt-Glaser et al., 1993) Marriage and Happiness: Several terms have been used interchangeably in the literature: marital happiness , marital adjustment , marital satisfaction and marital quality . (Spanier, 1977) The majority of research on marital satisfaction over the life course has shown that happiness in marriage takes the form of a U-shaped curve People most satisfied with their marriage at the beginning of their marriage Over time, marital satisfaction declines to its lowest point during mid-life or when children hit their teenage years (Continued) Marital satisfaction begins to increase as people move through retirement and later life, but it never reaches the same level of satisfaction as when first married Even childless couples experience this U-shaped curve although the decrease in happiness is not as drastic as for couples with children (Twenge, Campbell, and Foster, 2003) (Continued) Describe the influences on marital satisfaction and success Amato, Johnson, Booth, and Rogers (2003) - declines in marital quality were associated with premarital cohabitation, job demands, and extended work hours of the wife Increases in marital quality were associated with increased economic resources, equalitarian attitudes, and support for the idea of lifelong marriage Increases in the husbands’ share of housework made the husbands feel worse about their marriages but made the wives feel better! Marital Quality over the Life Course Women have higher well-being early in life while men have higher well-being later in life (Plagnol & Easterlin, 2008) Women fill their material and family goals early in life o Examples: they buy a house and car, travel, and have children Men are more satisfied with their financial and family lives later in life o Examples: the house is paid off, they have adequate retirement funds, and child rearing is over for the most part

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