A new study says that people who are married tend to be happier over the course of their lives. While they aren’t happier than they would be if they were single, it does show that marriage keeps your happiness at a more stable level. The Huffington Post reports:
Does being married make you a happier person? According to a report from Michigan State University released Thursday, the answer appears to be yes.
The study, which will be published in theJournal of Research in Personality, shows that while married people are not necessarily happier than they were when they were single, marriage “appears to protect against normal declines in happiness during adulthood” that happen over time. This finding begs another, perhaps more disturbing, question: Is a person destined for long-term unhappiness if he or she grows old alone?
Of course, this isn’t the first study we’ve seen about marriage and happiness — as early as 1938 (and perhaps even before that), researchers have tried to determinewhat factors make a happy marriage and whether or not married people were happier than those who made other lifestyle choices. More recently, in January 2012,research published in the Journal of Marriage and Family revealed that cohabiting couples could be just as happy as their married counterparts, which was significant because previous studies largely focused on the married-versus-single dichotomy.
To better understand how MSU’s study fits into the breadth of previous research about marriage and happiness, HuffPost Weddings spoke to Stevie C.Y. Yap, a researcher in MSU’s Department of Psychology, who was one of the report’s lead authors. Below, he discusses his team’s findings and methodology and explains what makes his results unique.