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Why Being Married is Better Than Staying Single

Update Date: Dec 14, 2012 05:05 AM EST

While more and more people are choosing to live independently and not take up the responsibilities that marriage entails, researchers have found new evidence on the benefits of married life. A study suggests that women who are married tend to be safer in terms of suffering partner abuse or substance abuse. Also, married women are apparently less likely to suffer post-partum depression around the time of pregnancy compared to those who live with a partner.

The study revealed that unmarried women who lived with a partner for less than two years were more likely to experience at least one of the three problems. However, the occurrence of these problems apparently came down as the time period of staying together with the partner increased.

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These problems seemed most common among separated or divorced women, especially for a woman separated from her partner less than 12 months before their child was born.

Researcher Dr. Marcelo Urquia, an epidemiologist at the Centre for Research on Inner City Health at St. Michael's Hospital, said with the increasing number of children being born to unmarried parents, he wants to investigate the different dynamics of various kinds of relationship set ups along with exploring the risks and benefits of single vs. cohabitating parents.

"What is new in this study is that for the first time we looked at the duration of unmarried cohabitation and found the shorter the cohabitation, the more likely women were to suffer intimate-partner violence, substance abuse or post-partum depression around the time of conception, pregnancy and delivery," Dr. Urquia 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."

According to the report, 30 percent children in Canada are born to unmarried couples while in many European countries, childbirths out of marriage are more than childbirths to married couples.

The research by Dr. Urquia revealed that about one in 10 married women suffer partner or substance abuse or post-partum depression. The study included 6,421 childbearing women in Canada.

Further, apparently 20 percent of women who were living with a partner but were unmarried, suffered from one of these three psycho-social conditions, while 35 percent of single women and 67 percent of separated or divorced women suffered the same. Dr. Urquia said that it was not clear if the partner abuse or the substance abuse was caused due to the separation.

The results of his study were published Dec. 14 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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