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Positive affect

Some American studies have found a decline over time in the strength of the benefits of marriage for subjective well-being (Haring-Hidore et al., 1985). However, this may be because more of the “unmarried” are actually benefiting from this relationship, while more of the “married” have suffered from divorce, once or more. We shall see later that some European studies have found that the benefits of marriage in preventing depression have actually increased. And the effects of cohabiting depend a lot on cultural attitudes to this relationship.