Published: 5th September 2013
New research conducted at a London university shows that a woman's mental state is far more positive than that of the man, following the conclusion of a divorce. Women have shown that they are much happier and satisfied with their new life, where as men tend to feel only 'slightly happier'.
Researchers at Kingston University based the conclusion of their study on 10,000 people based in the UK, aged from six to 60. Over the last 20 years these same group members were regularly questioned and asked to rate their own happiness before and after major milestones in their lives.
The study highlighted that women are significantly happier than usual for up to five years after the end of their marriages, even more so than their own average level of happiness throughout their lives. The statistics show that men also felt slightly happier after receiving the decree absolute, although their change in happiness was far less significant.
Professor Yannis Georgellis, Director of the Centre for Research in Employment, Skills and Society at Kingston Business School, stated, "In the study we took into account the fact that divorce can sometimes have a negative financial impact on women, but despite that it still makes them much happier than men. One possible explanation could be that women who enter into an unhappy marriage feel much more liberated after divorce than their male counterparts."
Interestingly, unemployment has the most permanent negative impact on mental state, regardless of gender. Men in particular were badly affected by losing their jobs and the negative impact could affect their happiness for up to five years after.
Professor Georgellis explains further, "Men are deeply affected by unemployment, especially if they are used to being the breadwinners in their homes. With both sexes, the old adage 'time heals' just doesn't seem to apply to losing your job. In fact the negative effect of being made unemployed also persists even if the person finds a new job because being made unemployed has a 'scarring' effect."
The reason why women are often in a better mental state than men following major life events could be down to a psychological process called 'adaptation' - the way in which we adjust to new circumstances. The study looked at this process and also revealed that some people can bounce back from traumatic or stressful life events far quicker than others.
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