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A Strong Social Network Helps Reduce Marital Conflicts and Stress

Social networks may help provide protection against health problems brought about by ordinary tension between spouses

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Marital conflict
Marital conflict between a couple. Pixabay

New York, Sep 17, 2017: Marital conflicts can take a toll on your health, but having even a few close friends and family members to turn to can help reduce the stress associated with such conflicts, new research suggests.

Social networks may help provide protection against health problems brought about by ordinary tension between spouses, said the study published online in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

“We found that having a satisfying social network buffers spouses from the harmful physiological effects of everyday marital conflicts,” said Lisa Neff, Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin in the US.

“Maintaining a few good friends is important to weathering the storms of your marriage,” Neff said.

The research looked at 105 newlywed couples who kept daily records of marital conflict in their home environment and completed questionnaires about the number, quality and characteristics of their connections with friends and family.

In addition, the couples participating in the study collected morning and evening saliva samples for cortisol testing every day for six days.

Cortisol levels over the course of the day are a measure of the stress response.

The overall number of friends and family members that study participants reported having did not appear to affect couples’ ability to handle conflicts nearly as much as the quality of those outside relationships.

Also Read: Married Trans Couples Experience Less Discrimination: Study 

The researchers found that people who reported having even a few close friends or family members to talk to outside of their marriage experienced lower levels of stress when marital conflicts arose.

“Even everyday conflict takes a toll on people physiologically,” Neff said.

“But we found that the association between marital conflict and cortisol responses completely disappears when people are happy and satisfied with their available social network,” Neff added. (IANS)

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Weigh Gain in Women Can Be Cause Due To High Stress Jobs: Study

Efforts to reduce work-related stress would likely achieve a decrease not only in weight gain but also in the incidence of ill health

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Indonesia, e-commerce, computer
Indonesian domestic workers attend a computer class during their day off at the Sekolah Indonesia Singapura (Indonesian School) in Singapore, Dec. 12, 2010. VOA

Are you gaining weight suddenly? Blame increased stress at workplace, say researchers who found that heavy pressure at work predisposes women to weight gain, irrespective of whether they have received an academic education.

The findings, led by the University of Gothenburg in Sweden researchers, showed that long-term exposure to high job demands played a part only for women. In just over half of the women who had been subjected to high demands, a major increase in weight took place over the 20 years.

This gain in weight was some 20 per cent higher than in women subject to low job demands.

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Your body may not cope with evening stress: Study. Pixabay

On the other hand, women and men with a low degree of control in their work more frequently gained considerable weight, defined as a weight gain of 10 per cent or more.

“We were able to see that high job demands played a part in women’s weight gain, while for men there was no association between high demands and weight gain,” said lead author Sofia Klingberg, a researcher at the varsity.

“When it came to the level of demands at work, only the women were affected. We haven’t investigated the underlying causes, but it may conceivably be about a combination of job demands and the greater responsibility for the home that women often assume. This may make it difficult to find time to exercise and live a healthy life,” Klingberg added,

depression
Depression has significantly increased the risk of early death in women. Wikimedia

For the study, published in the journal International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, the team included 3,872 women and men who were investigated on three occasions over a 20-year period with respect to such variables as body weight and demands and control at work.

Also Read: Does Your Home or Office Have Enough Fire Safety?

They were followed either from age 30 to 50 or from 40 to 60.

Efforts to reduce work-related stress would likely achieve a decrease not only in weight gain but also in the incidence of ill health, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes, the researchers noted. (IANS)