Similarity of the relations between marital status and subjective well-being across cultures

Ed Diener, Carol L. Gohm, Eunkook Suh, Shigehiro Oishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

328 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In a sample of 59,169 persons in 42 nations, relations between marital status and subjective well-being were found to be very similar across the world. Although cultural variables were found to alter the size of certain relations between marital status and subjective well-being, the effect sizes were very small. Specifically, in terms of life satisfaction, the benefit of marriage over cohabitation was greater in collectivist than in individualist nations. In terms of positive emotions, the benefit of being married over being divorced or separated was smaller in collectivist than in individualist nations. In addition, in terms of negative emotions, the benefit of being married over being divorced or separated was smaller in nations with a high tolerance for divorce. Finally, the relations between marital status, culture, and subjective well-being did not differ by gender. Because of the small size of the effects of the cultural variables, the authors concluded that the relations between marital status and subjective well-being are very similar across the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-436
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Jul

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology

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