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Mental health and satisfaction with partners: a longitudinal analysis in the UK

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journal contribution
posted on 02.02.2022, 16:38 by Paul DownwardPaul Downward, Simona RasciuteSimona Rasciute, Harish Kumar

Background: Current UK health policy stresses treating health as an asset to underpin and promote a more inclusive and productive society. The quality of personal relationships is essential for overall quality of life. The social determinants of health (SDH) literature shows that poor mental health and well-being are linked to weaker personal and social connections for individuals, families, and society. The causal impact that mental health has on satisfaction with partners is less understood but requires investigation.

Methods: The causal relationship between mental health and satisfaction with partners is examined drawing on the United Kingdom’s British Household Panel Survey from 1991 to 2008. A total sample of 9,024 individuals in dyadic couples comprising 42,464 observations was analysed using fixed-effects and instrumental variable fixed-effects panel data estimation.

Results: Lower mental health is associated with a lower satisfaction with partners. However, some causal evidence of lower mental health reducing satisfaction with partners is present for males.

Discussion: For females, relationship satisfaction is more likely to influence mental health. For males there is a potential ‘vicious circle’ between satisfaction with partners and mental health.

Conclusions: Investment in mental health provision can improve satisfaction with partners which in turn will further enhance health and well-being.

Funding

The Health Foundation as part of their Research programme on the Social and Economic Value of Health (Award ID: 773005)

History

School

  • Business and Economics
  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Department

  • Economics

Published in

BMC Psychology

Volume

10

Publisher

BMC

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by BMC under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

18/01/2022

Publication date

2022-01-27

Copyright date

2022

ISSN

2050-7283

Language

en

Depositor

Prof Paul Downward. Deposit date: 21 January 2022

Article number

15