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Relationships ‘good for health’

Marriage and cohabitation is good for health, a leading relationships researcher has told an audience in Melbourne today, with benefits including less drinking, smoking and even fewer thoughts of suicide.

However Professor Paul Amato cautioned that most of the benefits of a committed relationship fade much quicker for women than for men.

Presenting the latest findings from a 12 year study of more than 14,000 Americans to the Australian Institute of Family Studies conference, Amato said that the support of a partner was the crucial factor, not the institution of marriage itself. Amato praised initiatives that helped all people in relationships, including de facto spouses and same-sex partners.

Asked by Jamie Lee, Principal Researcher at Relationships Australia (SA), whether a relationship or an anti-depressant was better at beating depression, Amato speculated, ‘forming a strong loving relationship is probably as powerful as anything else out there!’

For more information about how you can enhance or enrich your relationship, check out Stronger Relationships.