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Journal Article

Mental health and satisfaction with partners: a longitudinal analysis in the UK

Authors

Publication date

27 Jan 2022

Summary

Background:
Current UK health policy stresses treating health as an asset to underpin and promote a more inclusive and productive society. The quality of personal relationships is essential for overall quality of life. The social determinants of health (SDH) literature shows that poor mental health and well-being are linked to weaker personal and social connections for individuals, families, and society. The causal impact that mental health has on satisfaction with partners is less understood but requires investigation.
Methods:
The causal relationship between mental health and satisfaction with partners is examined drawing on the United Kingdom’s British Household Panel Survey from 1991 to 2008. A total sample of 9,024 individuals in dyadic couples comprising 42,464 observations was analysed using fixed-effects and instrumental variable fixed-effects panel data estimation.
Results:
Lower mental health is associated with a lower satisfaction with partners. However, some causal evidence of lower mental health reducing satisfaction with partners is present for males.
Discussion:
For females, relationship satisfaction is more likely to influence mental health. For males there is a potential ‘vicious circle’ between satisfaction with partners and mental health.
Conclusions:
Investment in mental health provision can improve satisfaction with partners which in turn will further enhance health and well-being.

Published in

BMC Psychology

Volume

10:15

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1186/s40359-022-00723-w

ISSN

16

Subjects

Psychology, Well Being, Health, Sociology Of Households, and Social Psychology

Notes

Open Access; This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.


Related publications

  1. Men face 'vicious circle' between satisfaction with their partner and mental health, new study suggests

    Paul Downward, Simona Rasciute, and Harish Kumar

    1. Psychology
    2. Well Being
    3. Health
    4. Sociology Of Households
    5. Social Psychology

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