Can't buy me love: Study shows materialistic couples have more money and more problems

Oct 13, 2011

New research to be published Oct. 13 confirms The Beatles' lyrical hypothesis and finds that "the kind of thing that money just can't buy" is a happy and stable marriage.

Scholars at Brigham Young University studied 1,734 across the country. Each couple completed a relationship evaluation, part of which asked how much they value "having money and lots of things."

The researchers' showed that couples who say money is not important to them score about 10 to 15 percent better on marriage stability and other measures of than couples where one or both are materialistic.

"Couples where both spouses are materialistic were worse off on nearly every measure we looked at," said Jason Carroll, a BYU professor of family life and lead author of the study. "There is a pervasive pattern in the data of eroding communication, poor and low to each other."

The findings will be published Oct. 13 in the Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy.

For one in five couples in the study, both partners admitted a strong love of money. Though these couples were better off financially, money was often a bigger source of conflict for them.

"How these couples perceive their finances seems to be more important to their marital health than their actual financial situation," Carroll said.

And despite their shared materialism, materialistic couples' relationships were in poorer shape than couples who were mismatched and had just one materialist in the marriage.

The study's overall findings were somewhat surprising to Carroll because materialism was only measured by self-evaluations.

"Sometimes people can deceive themselves about how important their relationships are to them," Carroll said. "It's helpful to step back and look at where you focus your time."

Explore further: Saddam Hussein—a sincere dictator?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study: Few working couples happy

Aug 12, 2006

A Minnesota researcher says middle-class couples are struggling to balance work and family in jobs designed for the days when men were the breadwinners.

Recommended for you

Girls got game

1 minute ago

Debi Taylor has worked in everything from construction development to IT, and is well and truly socialised into male-dominated workplaces. So when she found herself the only female in her game development ...

Computer games give a boost to English

16 hours ago

If you want to make a mark in the world of computer games you had better have a good English vocabulary. It has now also been scientifically proven that someone who is good at computer games has a larger ...

Saddam Hussein—a sincere dictator?

20 hours ago

Are political speeches manipulative and strategic? They could be – when politicians say one thing in public, and privately believe something else, political scientists say. Saddam Hussein's legacy of recording private discussions ...

Healthy working environment is a salvation

22 hours ago

Contract workers in Norway often face the worst and most unpredictable working conditions. But good management and support from colleagues makes these workers more robust.

User comments : 0