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Marriage and Relationship Factors in Health

An Issue Brief

The health benefits of marriage have been recognized and commented upon in recent years by scholars, public officials, health and human service practitioners, and the media. Married people, in general, are healthier and live longer. However, the meaning and practical significance of this finding is not clear. More recent studies find that it is the quality of the relationship with the spouse or significant other that matters most, not solely marital status. Studies show that positive and supportive relationships promote health and help healing while negative and destructive relationships are harmful to health.

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