Living Single

The truth about singles in our society.

Really? Marriage Reduces Depression?

Size isn’t everything (in research studies).

The headline of a recent Psych Today post includes this: "Massive meta-analysis says marriage reduces depression." Blogger Diana Kirschner is referring to the report titled "The effects of marriage on health." The section on depression is on pages 27-33.

OK, Living Single readers - take this on. Read the seven pages from the report, then read Kirschner's blog post. What is she not saying? Would you write a different headline than she did?

The report is only a summary of some of the relevant studies. If you really want to be ambitious, go to the original journal articles to see what they really do say. Of course, I'd also recommend reading (or rereading) the science chapter of Singled Out (Chapter 2), and my critiques of studies that appeared after Singled Out was published (collected in Single with Attitude).

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Then, summon your patience. I'll get back to this eventually, but I'm already more than a month behind in summarizing and commenting on your critique of this Atlantic article. There are more than a dozen other topics also awaiting my blogging attention, including how "single at heart" differs from Quirkyalone, and what singlism is and is not. There are also several books I've been wanting to review (such as Hannah Seligson's A little bit married and Elizabeth Abbott's A history of marriage). Take that as encouragement to keep sending me your ideas and links - I love getting them, no matter how many of them stack up in my files or how long it takes me to get to them. I try to respond to every email message but some slip by unanswered. Please don't read that as a sign of my lack of interest. It is always great to hear from Living Single readers.

UPDATE: You can read what the research on marriage and depression really does show here.

Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., is author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. She is a visiting professor at UCSB.

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