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Perhaps divorce does not have negative health effects

A great deal of social science is focused on interpersonal relationships, especially matters of marriage and divorce. Researchers in Florida and elsewhere have conducted numerous studies concerning how one's marital status can affect the rest of an individual's life, and many conclusions about marriage and divorce have been made and embraced as truth. It is important to acknowledge, however, that our understanding of the world is always in flux, and that today's science can easily change yesterday's conclusions.

An example is found in a recent study conducted by Brigham Young University. Researchers there looked at participant's health in relation to their marital status. While social science has long asserted that married people are healthier than their single or divorced counterparts, this study reached a different conclusion. Researchers found that the simple fact of being married does not translate to health benefits.

Participants were asked to rate the level of support that they receive from their spouse. Those who reported that their spouses were only supportive part of the time were classified as "ambivalent." Ambivalent spouses exhibited higher levels of blood pressure than those who reported that their partners were reliably supportive. Researchers believe that the health difference may be attributed to the unpredictability that ambivalent marriages create.

This study and others like it could lead to a change in the way that many people think about divorce. If being in an ambivalent marriage does not convey the same health benefits as being in a happy marriage, then many Florida spouses may want to consider their options. For many, taking steps to improve their marriage could yield positive results. For some, it may be time to consider if divorce is the best course of action.

Source: theledger.com, "Harrop: Does not tying the knot tie people in knots?", Froma Harrop, Dec. 28, 2015

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