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‘Relationship Quality Tied To Good Health In Young Adults’

New York: 
For young people entering adulthood, high-quality relationships are associated with better physical and mental health, according to a new study which also found that low-quality affairs have detrimental effects.

“Health benefits begin to accrue relatively quickly with high-quality relationships and supportive contexts,” said Ashley Barr from University of Buffalo in the US.

“And then we see detrimental effects from low-quality relationships – particularly, those low-quality relationships that last a long time,” said Barr.

According to her, over the last few decades, adulthood has been extended. Younger people today are waiting longer to get married than those in previous generations, and they are waiting longer to finish school.

During this period, they are moving in and out of relationships, said Barr.

“Much of the research literature focuses on relationships and health in the context of marriage,” she said.

“The majority of our respondents were not married, but these relationships are still impactful to health, for better or for worse,” said Barr.

Researchers used a sample of all-white youth coming from two-parent, married families. About one-third of the sample experienced relatively large changes in their relationships over a two-year period.

“We took into account satisfaction, partner hostility, questions about criticism, support, kindness, affection and commitment,” said Barr.

“We also asked about how partners behave outside of the relationship. Do they engage in deviant behaviours? Is there general anti-sociality?,” she said.

According to Barr, the longer people are in high-quality relationships, or the faster they get out of low-quality relationships, the better their health.

“It is not being in a relationship that matters; it is being in a long-term, high-quality relationship that is beneficial,” she said.

“Low-quality relationships are detrimental to health. The findings suggest that it is better for health to be single than to be in a low-quality relationship,” said Barr.

The attention to changes in these relationships is important, particularly in the context of the extended transition to adulthood, Barr said.

“It is rare today for young adults to enter a romantic relationship and stay in that relationship without ever changing partners or relationship characteristics,” she added.

The findings were published in the Journal of Family Psychology.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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