A Positive Side to Divorce

On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Divorce on Thursday, January 2, 2014.

Everyone has heard of the problems with divorce: the impact on children, the serious effect on men and women’s health, and other issues. And, the number of divorced and separated women in the US is on the rise. A recent study has found that a record 15% of American women are divorced or separated. Is there any good news? The answer is . . . yeah.

According to a recent study, experiencing adversity through things like divorce and death may actually enhance your appreciation for other life pleasures. psychology professors published their findings in the Journal of Social, Psychological & Personality Science.

They asked about 15,000 adults to complete a vignette-based measure of savoring and gave the participants a checklist of adverse events (things like, divorce, death of a loved one and other adverse events) and asked them to indicate whether they had experienced any of these events and, if so, to specify whether they felt they had emotionally dealt with the negative event or were still struggling with it.

Although people who were currently struggling with adversity reported a diminished proclivity for savoring positive events, individuals who had dealt with more adversity in the past reported an elevated capacity for savoring.

Their conclusion is not so surprising. If you have dealt with more adversity in your past, as many in the study had, you would have reported an elevated capacity for savoring positive events. Conversely, if you were still going through a divorce for example, you would have reported, like many participants, a diminished proclivity for savoring positive events.

The abstract of the study can be read here.