Something to consider when making public health policy ■ Less likely to die if you socialize ■ But… be sure to be in a happy marriage ● Another meta-analysis: Marital quality moderated the relationship between marital status and health ○ Study with wives marital happiness (self-reported, meant to be used as a predictor for husbands happiness) and husband’s likelihood of surviving a heart attack ■ Greater when happy ○ The Case Against Marriage (Or, at least, marital promotion) ■ Pros are limited to happy marriages ● 1998: Only 1 in 4 still married couples are happy ■ Selection effects ● Do we know that people who don’t get married would accrue the same benefits as those who do so now? ● Controlling for demographics is not enough ■ Are other lifestyles, happily lived, as good as marriage? ○ Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
■ Bush signed Deficit Reduction Act in 2005 ■ 100 million dollars per year earmarked for improving marital outcomes in low- income families ■ The program’s logic ● Children would be better off if they were raised by 2 married biological parents ○ Does research support this? ● We know how to increase healthy marriage among low-income parents ● Government has a legitimate role in trying to influence parents’ marital behavior ○ Preventative ■ Better health, lower incarceration, etc . ■ Program largely failed ● No evidence that they improved marital outcomes ● Assumed that low income couples did not value marriage ○ Not true; They may even value it more ■ So why do we see more premarital children and less probability of getting married? ● Marriage is expensive ● So is birth control ● These couples really want it to work and know that they are less likely to succeed ● Low income = stress, pressure ○ Outside pressures predict the success of marriage ■ A test of interventions ● PREP ○ Improved communication and commitment ● CARE ○ Used IBC ■ IBC = Integrated Behavioral Cognitive??? ● Relationship Awareness ○ Watched movies and talked about them ■ Movies served as sort of a segway for them to talk about relationship issues in a non-committal way ● No interventions ○ Fared the worst ○ The other methods tied for effectiveness, implying that “high tech” therapy, like IBC” might not be the only solution ● Stress ○ Acute Stress: Short term stress ■ We generally think of stress in a negative context ■ Feeling overwhelmed ■ When can stress/physical reactions be positive?
Stress ● When you’re in front of a bear ● Or you have an upcoming exam ■ There needs to be an optimum level of stress ○ Chronic Stress: Long term stress ■ Low socioeconomic status causes stress for individuals and on our relationships ● People of low socioeconomic status are more likely to prolong marriage or divorce for this reason ○ Two Route Model of Stress Effects ■ Route 1: The content of the relationship ■ Route 2: responses to relationship problems ■
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- Spring '08