Natural Disasters Bring Couples Closer, Study Reveals

Natural Disasters Bring Couples Closer news

Relationship News – Researchers at the University of Texas (Austin) found that natural disasters like hurricanes can bring married couples closer, at least temporarily.

In a new study, researchers surveyed 231 newly married couples in the Houston area before and after the devastating Hurricane Harvey hit the coast in 2017. The couples were asked about their relationship satisfaction before and after the natural disaster. The researchers even examined how bad the experiences were for the couples, by asking them about the damages to their homes, financial losses, and more.

The study findings showed that couples experienced a significant boost in relationship satisfaction immediately after the hurricane. But investigators observed that the boost was not permanent and within a year, the couples returned to the level of satisfaction they had before the natural calamity.

“We actually saw the biggest jumps in relationship satisfaction among the couples who were the most unhappy before the hurricane,” said Hannah Williamson, lead author of the study published in the journal Psychological Science. However, he later mentioned that the research result didn’t mean, every couple experiencing relationship problems should spend the hurricane season in Florida.

“A natural disaster can really put things in perspective. People realize how important their partner is to them when they are jolted out of the day-to-day stress of life. There may be therapeutic applications to this if couples can shift their perspective in a similar way without having to go through a natural disaster,” William said.

According to the researchers, this specific study has effective implications for helping families as they navigate various types of stressors.

To Know More You May Refer To:

Williamson, H. C., Bradbury, T. N., & Karney, B. R. (2021). Experiencing a natural disaster temporarily boosts relationship satisfaction in newlywed couples. Psychological Science, 095679762110156. https://doi.org/10.1177/09567976211015677

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