Married women are less likely to suffer depression than cohabiters or singletons
Ten per cent of married women suffered from post-natal depression, compared with 20 per cent who cohabited and 35 per cent who were singleWomen who cohabited were also more likely to suffer domestic
abuse and/or abuse drugs
19:10 GMT, 14 December 2012
Pregnant women who had already tied the knot were far less likely to suffer from post-natal depression than those who just lived with their other halves
They say your wedding day is supposed to be the happiest of your life.
Now, a new study has found that this positive effect may well last for a good few years afterwards.
For researchers found pregnant women who had already tied the knot were far less likely to suffer from post-natal depression than those who just lived with their other halves.
The study of more than 6,000 women looked at the risks and benefits of marriage.
It found women who cohabited with their partners rather than being married to them were also more likely to suffer domestic abuse and/or abuse drugs. The less time they had lived together, the higher their risk.
Research leader Dr Marcelo Urquia,
from the University of Toronto, said: 'We did not see that pattern among
married women, who experienced less psychosocial problems, regardless of
the length of time they lived together with their spouses.'
The study found that 10.6 per cent of married women suffering from post-natal depression.
The figure rose to 20 per cent for women cohabiting in 'common-law' relationships and 35 per cent for single women.
Most dramatically, it rose to 67 per cent for women
who were separated or divorced in the year prior to the birth of a
'We expected to see differences, but not as big,' Dr Urquia said.
The study also found that women who cohabited with their partners rather than being married to them were also more likely to suffer domestic abuse and/or abuse drugs (posed by model)
'One cannot recommend people get married, that is their choice. But what
this (study) is showing is that those who commit to marriage may have
some characteristics that make them different from others, and those characteristics play a protective role for psycho-social well-being.'
The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, co-incides with the latest Census figures unveiled this week which revealed married couple households are in the minority for the first time.
While the number of married people
stays constant at 21.2 million, the number of single adults households
has rises by three million compared with 2001.
The census report said there were just under 2.3million cohabiting couples last year, compared to 2.06million in 2001.
Cohabitees now make up 10 per cent of all households, while married couples lead 33 per cent of households.
Lone parent households make up another 10 per cent, and 30 per cent of homes have just one individual.