Divorce Linked to Health Decline, Especially for Younger People
Examining the results of a national survey of 1,300 participants taken over the course of 15 years, sociologist Hui Liu compared the general health of participants who remained married to the health of those who transitioned from marriage to divorce.
Liu found that the gap in the quality of health was greater for those who divorced at younger ages. Individuals in the younger bracket, ages 35 to 41, reported more health problems in comparison to similarly aged individuals who remained married than those who got divorced between the ages of 44 to 50 reported relative to their married peers.
For Liu, these findings indicate that younger-age individuals who go through the process of transitioning from marriage to divorce may experience more stress and are in need of more counseling and family support. “This could include divorce counseling to help people handle the stress, or offering marital therapy or prevention programs to maintain marital satisfaction,” Liu says. We all know that stress is a major party foul to your body and there are only a lucky few who have found their sixth chakra by the age of 35…most people can’t even find a good dry cleaner by then.
In addition to assessing the correlation between age at time of divorce and relative declines in health, Liu drew conclusions about how each generation differently experiences divorce. For example, she found that divorcing young had a more drastic negative health impact on baby boomers than it did on older generations. While initially surprised by the finding, Liu says this is possibly because older generations feel more pressure to remain married, so only those in the unhappiest situations divorce, and thus may feel a greater sense of relief on average after their marriages end.
Moral of the story: Wait to get married until you’re ready to stick out a marriage. Or established enough to afford therapy.
Source: Michigan State University (2012). Divorce hurts health more at earlier ages.ScienceDaily. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedaily.com¬/releases/2012/01/120130131155.htm
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