A partner’s gratitude helps protect partner relationships – Diabetes UK

New research into the positive effect of people saying thank you to their partners has found that it can strengthen couples’ relationships and mitigate the impact of arguments and financial stress.

Over a 15-month period, researchers analyzed the effect that expressing gratitude and the perception of gratitude had on 316 African-American couples in rural Georgia, America.

People who experienced higher rates of gratitude, both expressed and perceived, expressed greater satisfaction in their relationships and felt more confident in their future as a partner.

Researcher Allen Barton, a professor of human development and family studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who led the study, said: “Although the couple’s negative communication increased, as long as they felt appreciated by their partner, their relationship quality did not increase.decrease as much over time.

“This becomes very important because not every couple is going to be great at communication, especially when things get heated or escalated, or they hit a home run to resolve conflicts.”

Over the course of the study, couples were asked three times how much they argued and how they resolved any conflict. They were also asked about the gratitude they expressed towards their partner and their perceived gratitude from their partner.

They were also asked to rate their satisfaction with their relationship, how stable they felt the relationship was, and how confident they felt about their future as a couple.

Professor Barton’s latest research follows an earlier study, which looked at the effects of financial strain on marriages. This study, however, only looked at perceived gratitude and its participants were primarily white, highly educated couples.

In this latest study, Professor Barton wanted to examine a different demographic.

Another key finding was that the “protective” effect of gratitude not only benefited couples in the short term, but also in the long term.

Read the full study at Journal of Social and Personal Relations.

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