Study: Romantic commitments are good

December 2, 2005

Cornell University scientists say they've determined people in relationships are generally happier than other people.

The study also found spouses have the highest sense of well-being, whether they are happily married or not.

The research, led by Claire Kamp Dush -- a postdoctoral fellow with the Evolving Family Theme Project of Cornell's Institute for the Social Sciences -- found people who cohabit are next on the scale of happiness, followed by those in steady relationships and then those in casual relationships. Unpartnered people report the lowest levels of well-being.

"Some commitment appears to be good, but more commitment appears to be even better," said Dush, who said even those in relatively unhappy marriages appear to benefit from being married.

The study, one of the few to examine well-being across the relationship continuum, appeared in a recent issue of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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