Washington, May 4th – Having a satisfied spouse is associated with a longer life, regardless of the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of individuals or their health, highlights a study issued Thursday in the journal Psychological Science.
This thesis is based on data from a survey of more than 4,000 US couples over 50 years of age, conducted by the National Institute on Aging, commented the research’s author, Olga Stavrova.
Participants and their spouses have reported life satisfaction for eight years. In addition to it, several factors that were supposed to be related to mortality, including the couple perceived support and the frequency of physical activity have been considered in the inquiry.
They also completed a self-assessed health measure and provided information related to their morbidity (according to the number of chronic diseases diagnosed by the doctor), sex, age at the beginning of the study, ethnicity, education, family income and mortality per couple.
Participants’ demises during the study were tracked using the National Death Index of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the spouses’ reports.
After eight years had passed by, about 16 percent of the participants had died mostly older men, few physically active, having worse health than those who were still alive and less life satisfaction.
According to Stavrova ‘the findings underscore the role of the immediate social environment of individuals in their health outcomes. The most important thing is that it has the potential to broaden our understanding of what makes up the social environment of individuals by including personality and well-being of close individuals. ‘
The expert found out that greater satisfaction with living in couple was related to higher physical activity, which matched to the participant’s greater activity and lower mortality of both participants.
This research could have implications for questions, such as what attributes shall we pay attention to when we select our spouse or partner? And shall healthy lifestyle recommendations be addressed to couples (or households) rather than individuals? ‘Stavrova wondered.(Prensa Latina)