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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
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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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Childhood Stress You Suffered May Affect Your Kids

The findings showed that a mother's childhood experiences had a much stronger adverse effect on a child's behavioural health than the father's experiences

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For the study the team analysed information from a US national survey containing information from four generations of families. Pixabay

Experiencing childhood trauma resulting from separation of parents or witnessing violence at home may have long-term effects, suggests a new study that found that ill effects of such stress can reach the kids of the sufferer.

The results, published in the journal Pediatrics, showed that the children of parents who themselves had four or more adverse childhood experiences were at double the risk of having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and were four time more likely to have mental health problems.

“This is the first research to show that the long-term behavioural health harms of childhood adversity extend across generations from parent to child,” said study lead author Adam Schickedanz from University of California, Los Angeles, US.

For the study the team analysed information from a US national survey containing information from four generations of families.

stress
Representational image. Pixabay

The researchers looked at whether the parents were abused, neglected or exposed to other family stress or maltreatment while growing up and analysed information on their children’s behaviour problems and medical diagnoses of attention deficit disorder.

The types of childhood hardships analysed for the research included divorce or separation of parents, death of or estrangement from a parent, emotional, physical or sexual abuse, witnessing violence in the home, exposure to substance abuse in the household or parental mental illness.

Also Read: Is Your Bedroom Stressing You Out?

The findings showed that a mother’s childhood experiences had a much stronger adverse effect on a child’s behavioural health than the father’s experiences.

“If we can identify these children who are at a higher risk, we can connect them to services that might reduce their risk or prevent behavioural health problems,” Schickedanz explained. (IANS)