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Is divorce impacting the health of young couples more?

The rigors of divorce can leave any Louisiana resident stressed. Stress can ultimately lead to ill health effects. However, a recent study revealed that divorce takes its toll on the health of younger couples more so than individuals who are later into their life.

A sociologist at Michigan State University conducted the study, which appeared in the journal Social Science & Medicine. In the study, researchers interviewed a combination of over 1,200 men and women throughout a 15-year period. These individuals ranged in age from 25 to 83.

Many of the interview questions were centered on the health status of each individual. This information was then compared to their martial status. The results revealed that individuals who divorced from their spouse between the ages of 35 and 41 suffered the brunt of ill health effects. Couples that decided to divorce later in their lives were less affected.

The findings were even a surprise to the woman behind the study, who said one might have assumed younger couples would take less stress away from a divorce because it is becoming more and more of a staple in today's society. Pondering the trend further, the researcher speculated that perhaps older couples felt the need to stay locked in a loveless marriage so that, when they finally decided to divorce, it was a relief.

One maybe not-so-surprising discovery uncovered was the fact that those who divorce see their health decline quicker than married couples. The study identified the transition from marriage to divorce as the culprit. Some of the individuals studied were divorced the entire time and their health did not decline. When an individual went from married to divorce, that's when their health suffered. The head researcher said the study should be a call to action to make more resources available to young couples going through divorce.

Source: Mail Online, "Divorcing 'is more harmful to health in your 30s as young couples are hit hardest by change'," Lauren Paxman and Fiona Macrae, Feb. 1, 2012

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