A team of researchers at Ohio State University explored how negative marital communications can slow down wound healing in couples. The study is published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.
The researchers revisited data from a 2005 Ohio State University study that surveyed how marital stress and conflict adversely affected couples’ immunity.
The data was gleaned from a number of experiments and questionnaires that recorded the participants’ constructive and destructive interaction patterns and immune function measures.
The results revealed that conflict and emotional distress in married couples can lead to a waning immune system and decrease the body’s wound healing and repair qualities. In a way, persistent distressing emotions and negative marital communications can lead to poor health outcomes for both intimate partners.
The researchers elaborated: “Marriage is associated with better health, but chronically distressed marriages can worsen health. It’s important to understand what is going on behind the scenes that contribute to these effects. What we’re seeing is that negativity, and their combination is particularly bad for couples’ emotions, relationships, and immune functioning.”
To Know More You May Refer To
Shrout, M. R., Renna, M. E., Madison, A. A., Malarkey, W. B., & Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K. (2023). Marital negativity’s festering wounds: The emotional, immunological, and relational toll of couples’ negative communication patterns. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 149, 105989. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2022.105989