People with supportive spouses may experience more personal growth, happiness, psychological well-being, and better relationships, a study suggests. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in the US found that people with supportive spouses were more likely to take on potentially rewarding challenges.
'Supportive spouses boost well-being'
"We found support for the idea that the choices people make at these specific decision points — such as pursuing a work opportunity or seeking out new friends — matter a lot for their long-term well-being," said Brooke Feeney, lead author of the study published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
The researchers brought 163 married couples into the lab and gave one member of each couple a choice: either solve a simple puzzle, or they were given an opportunity to compete for a prize by giving a speech. They then recorded the couples' interactions as they decided whether to take on the challenge.
Participants with more encouraging partners were substantially more likely to decide to compete for the prize, while those with partners who discouraged them or expressed a lack of confidence more often chose the simple puzzle.