Is Marriage Beneficial to People's Lives? Essay

Pages: 3 (909 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Family and Marriage

Marriage Happiness

Is Marriage Beneficial to People's Lives?

Are married people happier than unmarried people? Discuss the research on this, and whether the data show that getting married can increase happiness levels in the short or long-term.

The effect of marriage on an individual's happiness is difficult to study. It is not sufficient simply to compare people who are married to people who are not. If the currently-married people differ from the other people -- in happiness, for example -- we cannot conclude that they are different because they are married; people who are married and people who are not married may differ in all sorts of other ways (such as financial resources or experiences of stigma -- getting stereotyped, excluded, or discriminated against), and it may be those ways, rather than marriage, that accounts for any differences in happiness (DePaulo, 2013). Furthermore, some studies have tried to compare samples that were married with others that were never married, which is problematic as well.

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Most of the research tends to agree that there is a period in which married people are clearly happier which is the honeymoon period or the short period just after the couple exchanges vows (Conger, N.d.). However this seems to be the least debatable phenomenon in the relationship while other periods of marriage have mixed research results. Some studies seem to suggest that marriage stabilize happiness in the long-term, others show no correlation between marriage and happiness, and still others suggest that married people are generally less happy which is represented by the high divorce rate.

2. Does marriage impact men and women differently in terms of various measures of well-being (e.g., happiness, economic security, health outcomes)? Discuss some of the research findings on this, and the implications of these findings.

Essay on Is Marriage Beneficial to People's Lives? Assignment

Marriage does have different implications for men and women in regard to different measures of well-being. For example, women who marry later are less likely to get divorced and earn more, on average, than their earlier-marrying counterparts (Matthews, 2013). Furthermore, women who are married seem to earn more than women who are unwed on average; however this trend is more significant with women who have gone further with their education. However, marriage does not seem to have a correlation with men and their earning potential throughout their careers. In general, married people are healthier than those who are not married across a wide array of health outcomes however the existence of an association between marriage and health does not necessarily imply that marriage causes better outcomes because people who marry may already be healthier than those who do not, and this may be the reason for the better health of married adults (Wood, Goesling, & Avellar, 2007).

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