A happy marriage apparently is good medicine, but hostile spouses may be harmful to one another's health.
Couples in conflict-ridden marriages take longer than the happily married to heal from all kinds of wounds, from minor scrapes or athletic injuries to major surgery, suggests a study out over the weekend. And the health toll taken by a stressful job seems to be eased when the worker has a pleasurable home life.
This new research, reported at an American Psychosomatic Society meeting, adds to growing evidence that marriage has an impact on health.
In the wound healing study, 42 couples agreed to let researchers use a suction device to create several minor blister wounds on their skin in two sessions about two months apart. The first time, couples were told to discuss a neutral topic; the next time they were given half an hour to resolve an issue or two on which they disagreed. Their discussions were monitored. Researchers also checked participants' wounds over the next few weeks and their production of three proteins created in wound healing.
The outcome: "Even a simple discussion of a disagreement slows wound healing," says psychologist Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, who did the study with co-author Ronald Glaser of Ohio State University College of Medicine.
Overall, couples took longer to heal when asked to thrash out points of conflict than neutral issues. Hostile couples - peppering both discussions with criticism, sarcasm and put-downs - healed the slowest. It took them 40% longer, or two more days, to heal, and they also produced less of the proteins linked to healing.
These are minor wounds and brief, restrained encounters. Real-life marital conflict probably has a worse impact, Kiecolt-Glaser adds. "Such stress before surgery matters greatly," she says, and the effect could apply to healing from any injury.
（来源：新华网 英语点津 Annabel 编辑）