We know that divorce and health are linked – but how exactly does this link work?

It is pretty well established that the experience of marital; separation and divorce is a risk for a range of poor health outcomes, even many years after the event. But how are these events linked? Although the association is established, the pathway between the two is not well understood. In this episode, I talk with Professor David Sbarra, in the Department of Psychology at the University of Arizona in the USA, where he is also the Director of Clinical Training in the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. In this conversation, we focus on David’s work looking close relationships and health.

Here is the link to the paper we talk about in this week’s show:

Here is the abstract for some context:

A very large literature links the experiences of marital separation and divorce to risk for a range of poor distal health outcomes, including early death. What is far less clear, however, is the mechanistic pathways that convey this risk. Several plausible mechanisms are identified in the literature, and the central thesis of this paper is that the empirical study of divorce and health will benefit enormously from a renewed reliance on theory to dictate how these mechanisms of action may unfold over time. This review emphasizes the roles of attachment and social baseline theories in making specific mechanistic predictions and highlights the ways in which these perspectives can contribute new empirical knowledge on risk and resilience following marital dissolution.

If you’d like further information after you’ve listened to the show, you can find David’s ebook here: Love, Loss, and the Space Between

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