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Divorce may lead to early death

10 Jun 2015, 13:47


New York: People who find it difficult to adapt to distressing life situations such as divorce or unemployment may experience fluctuations in life satisfaction which can be detrimental to their longevity, suggests a research.

Greater life satisfaction in adults older than 50 years of age is related to a reduced risk of mortality, the results showed.

‘Although life satisfaction is typically considered relatively consistent across time, it may change in response to life circumstances such as divorce or unemployment,’ said Julia Boehm, assistant professor of psychology at Chapman University in the US.

‘Some people may adapt more readily to new situations and thus appear to have relatively stable life satisfaction, and others may not adapt as quickly.’

The researchers found that variability in life satisfaction across time increases risk of mortality, but only among less satisfied people.

The study involved nearly 4,500 participants who were followed for up to nine years.

In each year of the nine-year study, older men and women responded to the question, ‘All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life?’

Responses ranged from zero to 10, with 10 indicating greater life satisfaction.

The researchers assessed both average life satisfaction across time and the variability in life satisfaction across time.

Over the course of the study, the researchers learned that as participants’ life satisfaction increased, the risk of mortality was reduced by 18 per cent.

By contrast, greater variability in life satisfaction was associated with a 20 per cent increased risk of mortality.