Materialistic couples have more problems

Oct. 15, 2011 at 1:44 AM   |   Comments

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PROVO, Utah, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- If both spouses are materialistic they are worse off on every measure of a relationship evaluation than couples with fewer possessions, U.S. researchers say.

Lead author Jason Carroll of Brigham Young University and colleagues had 1,734 married couples nationwide complete a relationship evaluation.

The statistical analysis showed couples who said money was not important to them scored about 10 percent to 15 percent better on marriage stability and other measures of relationship quality than couples in which one or both members were materialistic.

"Couples where both spouses are materialistic were worse off on nearly every measure we looked at," Carroll said in a statement. "There is a pervasive pattern in the data of eroding communication, poor conflict resolution and low responsiveness to each other."

For one in five couples in the study, both partners admitted a strong love of money. Though these couples were better off financially, money was often a bigger source of conflict for them, Carroll said.

"How these couples perceive their finances seems to be more important to their marital health than their actual financial situation," Carroll said.

The findings were published in the Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy.

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