OnePlusOne Research and Policy Digest – January 2015
Welcome to 2015’s first OnePlusOne monthly roundup of key research and policy news to emerge from the field of relationships! This edition features the latest on divorce and support, updates on legal aid, and new research from the US on the impact of emotional and sexual infidelity on couple relationships.
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Research and statistics
For the people who find divorce so traumatizing that they lose sleep over it, beware, as it can lead to increased blood pressure, which can cause early death, says a new study.
Families with children are now at greater risk than any other group of having an inadequate income, with more than one in three having less than they require for a socially acceptable standard of living. According to new research for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, at least 8.1 million parents and children are living on incomes below what is needed to cover a minimum household budget, up by more than a third from 5.9 million in 2008/09.
Subjective well-being research has often found that marriage is positively correlated with well-being. Some have argued that this correlation may be result of happier people being more likely to marry. Others have presented evidence suggesting that the well-being benefits of marriage are short-lasting. Using data from the British Household Panel Survey, this study controls individual pre-marital well-being levels and find that the married are still more satisfied, suggesting a causal effect, even after full allowance is made for selection effects.
In the largest study to date on infidelity, Chapman University has learned men and women are different when it comes to feeling jealous. In a poll of nearly 64,000 people this study provides the first large-scale examination of gender and sexual orientation differences in response to potential sexual versus emotional infidelity.
Policy and practice
Recent research commissioned by Irwin Mitchell revealed that almost one in five married couples were considering staying together over the Christmas period before putting an end to their marriage in January. The same survey found that 1 in four people describe themselves as being with their partner for the sake of their children.
With over 100,000 marriages ending each year, and signs that January’s traditional upsurge in separations will occur again this year, National Family Mediation (NFM) has released data which shows huge increases in calls taken by its specialist helpline staff. But it also show that each month in 2014 an average of 770 calls went unanswered because the charity does not have funding to employ more specialist staff to help families at their time of need.
The National Association for Child Contact Centres (NACCC) says 40 centres have closed in the last 18 months across England and Wales – and the pace of closures is accelerating. It says that, because they can no longer obtain legal aid, the number of parents accessing the family courts to resolve their problems has halved. As a result they are not receiving advice from solicitors who are likely to refer them to the centres.
The government made an announcement on Friday, 16 January in response to the consultation on reform of court fees. As part of the new plans the government has decided not to implement the proposed increase to the fee for a divorce, nor either of the potential proposals to charge higher fees for commercial proceedings.
Claudia C. Brumbaugh, R. Chris Fraley (2015), Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, vol. 32 ( 1), 99-118
Dmitry Tumin, Siqi Han and Zhenchao Qian (2015), Journal of Marriage and Family, Volume 77 (1), pages 312–322
Carin Perilloux, Robert Kurzban (2015), Psychological Science, vol. 26 (1) 70-77
Andrea R. Swenson, Anisa M. Zvonkovic, Jennifer Rojas-McWhinney, and Katherine n. Gerst (2015), Personal Relationships, DOI: 10.1111/pere.12069
Lindsey M. Rodriguez, Benjamin W. Hadden and C. Raymond Knee (2015), Personal Relationships, DOI: 10.1111/pere.12068
Mathias Allemand, Patrick L. Hill and Regula Lehmann (2015), Personal Relationships, DOI: 10.1111/pere.12067
Leah LeFebvre, Kate Blackburn, Nicholas Brody (2015), Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, vol. 32 no. 1, 78-98
Aleksandra Niemyjska (2015), Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, vol. 32 (1), 57-77
Sarah Woods, Nathaniel Lambert, Preston Brown, Frank Fincham, Ross May (2015), Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, vol. 32 (1), 24-40
Grace M. Larson, David A. Sbarra (2015), Social Psychological and Personality Science, doi: 10.1177/1948550614563085
Debra Umberson, Mieke Beth Thomeer, Rhiannon A. Kroeger, Amy C. Lodge, and Minle Xu (2015), Journal of Marriage and Family, Volume 77 (1), pages 96–111
Ryan Schacht, Monique Borgerhoff Mulder (2015), Royal Society Open Science, DOI: 10.1098/rsos.140402
Allen J. LeBlanc, David M. Frost, and Richard G. Wight (2015), Journal of Marriage and Family, Volume 77 (1), 40–59
Robert A. Ackerman, Deborah A. Kashy and Conrad a. Corretti (2015), Personal Relationships, DOI: 10.1111/pere.12065
Pallavi D. Visvanathan, Melissa Richmond, Chandra Winder and Cynthia Hoskins Koenck (2015), Family Process, DOI: 10.1111/famp.12116
Scott Barry Kaufman, Aaron Kozbelt, Paul Silvia, James C. Kaufman, Sheela Ramesh and Gregory J. Feist (2014), The Journal of Creative Behaviour, DOI: 10.1002/jocb.78
Eliane M. Boucher, Jill A. Jacobson and Jorden A. Cummings (2014), Personal Relationships, DOI: 10.1111/pere.12064