Marriage and Psychological Wellbeing: The Role of Social Support


The married consistently report better levels of psychological health compared to the unmarried. Using a cross-sectional questionnaire design, this research examines to what extent this relationship between marital status and psychological wellbeing can be explained by perceived social support. The data reveal that, after controlling for demographic variables, number of daily hassles and coping strategies, widowed and divorced adults report significantly poorer psychological health compared to those who remain married. Moreover, while there was limited evidence that perceived social support moderates the association between marital status and psychological wellbeing, perceived social support did emerge as a significant mediator of this relationship. Perceived social support explained the influence of being widowed, divorced and never married on psychological wellbeing, such that lower levels of support in these groups resulted in poorer psychological health. Thus, social support may be an important variable for interventions to minimize the negative consequences of a transition out of marriage.

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Soulsby, L. and Bennett, K. (2015) Marriage and Psychological Wellbeing: The Role of Social Support. Psychology, 6, 1349-1359. doi: 10.4236/psych.2015.611132.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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