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Business News/ News / World/  Couples who thank each other stay together, new study says
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Couples who thank each other stay together, new study says

The findings of new research suggest that gratitude from one's partner may be a powerful tool for couples.

When people feel appreciated by their partners, their relationships function better.Premium
When people feel appreciated by their partners, their relationships function better.

Expressing gratitude to one's partner can strengthen relationships and keep them strong by decreasing conflict and financial stress while also increasing relationship satisfaction and commitment, according to new research.

The effects of expressed gratitude—conveying appreciation to one's partner—and perceived gratitude—feeling valued and appreciated by one's partner—on the relationships of 316 African American couples were investigated over the course of a 15-month period by the research team.

When people feel appreciated by their partners, both at the time the appreciation is expressed and over time, their relationships function better and are more resistant to internal and external stressors, said researcher Allen W. Barton.

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Middle-aged people who resided in small rural communities in Georgia made up the majority of the study's participants. Although the majority of participants were working, about 66% of the couples had combined incomes that were less than 150% of the federal poverty level, and thus could be categorised as working poor, according to Barton.

From one to eight children, on average three, lived with the participants as a whole. When the study started, the married couples had been together for roughly ten years, but the unmarried couples had been living together for almost seven years.

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Three surveys were given to the couples over the course of the 15-month period, asking them about how they handled arguments and conflicts, how much gratitude they expressed to one another, and how much gratitude they believed their partner was showing them. The participants also discussed how financially stressed they are right now.

The stability of the relationship—as indicated by thoughts or conversations about breaking up—and respondents' confidence in their future together were all rated. Respondents' levels of satisfaction with their relationship ranged from being completely happy to being very unhappy. In order to track the effects of both types of gratitude over time, respondents completed the surveys once more eight and fifteen months after the initial evaluation.

Barton is a professor of human development and family studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The study was published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

(With ANI inputs)

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Sounak Mukhopadhyay
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Published: 15 Nov 2022, 09:53 AM IST
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