The notion of “happy wife, happy life,” is given credence by recent research led by a Canadian psychology professor — and the same seems to hold true for the influence of husbands.
A study led by the University of British Columbia’s Christiane Hoppmann, published in the American Psychological Association’s Developmental Psychology journal, suggests married couples share notable similarities in happiness levels over their years together.
The report was based on an analysis of existing data initially intended for other research. It compared the self-reported mood patterns of 178 married couples in the Seattle area between 1956 and 1991.
The researchers noted much more similarity in the happiness levels among married couples as compared to random pairings of men and women.
“Not only did spouses report similar levels of happiness when they entered the study, but when there were changes in happiness in one spouse, that did have an effect on the other spouse as well,” Hoppmann said Friday.
Hoppmann said it’s not surprising to find that husbands and wives’ moods are closely linked, but added that it is “novel” to see it documented scientifically like this. […]
“If people share important experiences, know each other very well and spend a lot of time over a long period of their lives, then chances are, that’s going to have an impact on your respective other,” she said.
As well, Hoppmann noted that this research involved couples who were married to the same person for multiple decades, something that has become less common among younger generations.
She said other research has shown less correlation among couple’s moods in which the members have been in multiple marriages.
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