A new study finds that supportive, responsive partners provide a buffer to loneliness and sleep deficits among military couples.
Better sleep, communication, and emotional support are key to better overall health and to being successful in the workplace, according to the research, which was presented at the 2017 Society for Personality and Social Psychology Annual Convention.
“This study adds to a larger body of literature that supports how important it is to share with your partner when good things happen, as well as to respond positively to the sharing of good news,” said Sarah Arpin, a social psychologist at Gonzaga University.
For the study, Arpin and her colleagues examined the sharing of good news, loneliness, intimacy, and sleep in 162 post-9/11 military couples.
“Very few studies have examined daily relationship processes among military couples, who may be particularly vulnerable to relationship difficulties post-deployment,” she noted,
In relationship research, sharing good news is referred to as capitalization. Capitalization is a particularly important support process in close relationships, the researcher explained.
“When you share something good, and the recipient of (the) information is actively happy for you, it heightens the positive experience for both parties,” she said. “However, when someone ‘rains on your parade,’ that can have negative consequences.”
Researchers required couples to be living together for at least six months to participate in the study. About 20 percent of the couples were unmarried. The length of time couples were together varied widely, though the average length of relationship was 12 years.
This study is part of a larger research project, the Study for Employment Retention of Veterans (SERVe) that is working to enhance retention of veterans in the workplace, with the goal of improving workplace culture and general well-being of service members.