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Couples Who Express Anger Live Longer

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  • Julienne
    SPOUSES WHO FIGHT LIVE LONGER LiveScience January 23, 2008 http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20080123/sc_livescience/spouseswhofightl ivelonger A good
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 30, 2008
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      SPOUSES WHO FIGHT LIVE LONGER
      LiveScience
      January 23, 2008

      http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20080123/sc_livescience/spouseswhofightl
      ivelonger

      A good argument with your spouse could be just what the doctor ordered.

      Preliminary results from a survey of married couples suggest that disputing
      husbands and wives who hold in their anger die earlier than expressive
      couples.

      "When couples get together, one of their main jobs is reconciliation about
      conflict," said researcher Ernest Harburg, professor emeritus with the
      University of Michigan School of Public Health and Psychology Department.
      "Usually nobody is trained to do this. If they have good parents, they can
      imitate, that's fine, but usually the couple is ignorant about the process
      of resolving conflict."

      So while conflict is inevitable, the critical matter is how couples resolve
      it.

      "The key matter is, when the conflict happens, how do you resolve it?"
      Harburg said. "When you don't, if you bury your anger, and you brood on it
      and you resent the other person or the attacker, and you don't try to
      resolve the problem, then you're in trouble."

      The findings add to past research showing that the release of anger can be
      healthy. For instance, one study revealed when people are angry they tend to
      make better decisions, perhaps because this emotion triggers the brain to
      ignore irrelevant cues and focus on the meat of the matter. Individuals who
      express anger might also have a sense of control and optimism over a
      situation, according to another past study.

      Bottled anger adds to stress, which tends to shorten lives, many studies
      show.

      In the current study, the authors suggest a combination of factors to
      explain the higher mortality for couples who don't express their anger.
      These include "mutual anger suppression, poor communication (of feelings and
      issues) and poor problem-solving with medical consequences," they write in
      the January issue of the Journal of Family Communication.

      Over a 17-year period, Harburg and his colleagues studied 192 married
      couples in which spouses ranged in age from 35 to 69, focusing on aggressive
      behavior considered unfair or undeserved by the person being "attacked."
      Harburg said that if an attack is viewed as fair, the victim doesn't tend to
      get angry.

      Based on the participants' anger-coping responses to hypothetical
      situations, Harburg placed couples into one of four categories: both
      partners express their anger; the wife expresses anger; the husband
      communicates anger while the other suppresses; and both the husband and wife
      brood and suppress their anger.

      The researchers found that 26 couples, meaning 52 individuals, were
      suppressors in which both partners held in their anger. Twenty-five percent
      of the suppressors died during the study period compared with about 12
      percent for the other remaining couples.

      In 27 percent of the suppressor couples, one member of the couple died
      during the study period, and in 23 percent of those couples, both died
      during the study period. That's compared to only 6 percent of couples where
      both spouses died in the remaining three groups combined. Only 19 percent in
      the remaining three groups combined saw one partner die during the study
      period.

      The results held even when other health factors were accounted for,
      including age, smoking, weight, blood pressure, bronchial problems,
      breathing and cardiovascular risk.

      Harburg said the results are preliminary, and his team is now collecting
      30-year follow-up data. He expects the follow-up to show almost double the
      death rate compared with the preliminary findings.
       

      You are loving when your own pain does not blind you to the pain of others.
      Julienne's Blog: www.myspace.com/youandthecosmos.New Blog:"The Times They Are A-changin..."
      Radio: "You and the Cosmos" WHRWFM.org, 90.5 FM,
      Join us at EvolPsych@yahoogroups.com

    • vquest95@aol.com
      How much of the benefit of spousal fighting is due to the burst of adrenalin that it produces? I have seen other studies that show that people in nursing
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 31, 2008
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        How much of the benefit of spousal fighting is due to the burst of adrenalin that it produces?  I have seen other studies that show that people in nursing homes who get angry tend to live longer and that effect was attributed to adrenalin. 
         
        Dave Alexander 
         
        In a message dated 1/31/2008 1:51:36 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, julienne@... writes:

        SPOUSES WHO FIGHT LIVE LONGER
        LiveScience
        January 23, 2008

        http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20080123/sc_livescience/spouseswhofightl
        ivelonger

        A good argument with your spouse could be just what the doctor ordered.

        Preliminary results from a survey of married couples suggest that disputing
        husbands and wives who hold in their anger die earlier than expressive
        couples.

        "When couples get together, one of their main jobs is reconciliation about
        conflict," said researcher Ernest Harburg, professor emeritus with the
        University of Michigan School of Public Health and Psychology Department.
        "Usually nobody is trained to do this. If they have good parents, they can
        imitate, that's fine, but usually the couple is ignorant about the process
        of resolving conflict."

        So while conflict is inevitable, the critical matter is how couples resolve
        it.

        "The key matter is, when the conflict happens, how do you resolve it?"
        Harburg said. "When you don't, if you bury your anger, and you brood on it
        and you resent the other person or the attacker, and you don't try to
        resolve the problem, then you're in trouble."

        The findings add to past research showing that the release of anger can be
        healthy. For instance, one study revealed when people are angry they tend to
        make better decisions, perhaps because this emotion triggers the brain to
        ignore irrelevant cues and focus on the meat of the matter. Individuals who
        express anger might also have a sense of control and optimism over a
        situation, according to another past study.

        Bottled anger adds to stress, which tends to shorten lives, many studies
        show.

        In the current study, the authors suggest a combination of factors to
        explain the higher mortality for couples who don't express their anger.
        These include "mutual anger suppression, poor communication (of feelings and
        issues) and poor problem-solving with medical consequences," they write in
        the January issue of the Journal of Family Communication.

        Over a 17-year period, Harburg and his colleagues studied 192 married
        couples in which spouses ranged in age from 35 to 69, focusing on aggressive
        behavior considered unfair or undeserved by the person being "attacked."
        Harburg said that if an attack is viewed as fair, the victim doesn't tend to
        get angry.

        Based on the participants' anger-coping responses to hypothetical
        situations, Harburg placed couples into one of four categories: both
        partners express their anger; the wife expresses anger; the husband
        communicates anger while the other suppresses; and both the husband and wife
        brood and suppress their anger.

        The researchers found that 26 couples, meaning 52 individuals, were
        suppressors in which both partners held in their anger. Twenty-five percent
        of the suppressors died during the study period compared with about 12
        percent for the other remaining couples.

        In 27 percent of the suppressor couples, one member of the couple died
        during the study period, and in 23 percent of those couples, both died
        during the study period. That's compared to only 6 percent of couples where
        both spouses died in the remaining three groups combined. Only 19 percent in
        the remaining three groups combined saw one partner die during the study
        period.

        The results held even when other health factors were accounted for,
        including age, smoking, weight, blood pressure, bronchial problems,
        breathing and cardiovascular risk.

        Harburg said the results are preliminary, and his team is now collecting
        30-year follow-up data. He expects the follow-up to show almost double the
        death rate compared with the preliminary findings.
         

        You are loving when your own pain does not blind you to the pain of others.
        Julienne's Blog: www.myspace.com/youandthecosmos.New Blog:"The Times They Are A-changin..."
        Radio: "You and the Cosmos" WHRWFM.org, 90.5 FM,
        Join us at EvolPsych@yahoogroups.com





        Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape in the new year.
      • steve moxon
        There is lots of epidemiology showing that whereas cortisol (the medium/long-term stress hormone) causes ill health through a range of diseases in low status
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 31, 2008
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          There is lots of epidemiology showing that whereas cortisol (the medium/long-term stress hormone) causes ill health through a range of diseases in low status individuals (that is, individuals with relatively low 'mate value' relative to other individuals of their sex), it instead confers benefits on high status (actually 'mate value') individuals (that is, individuals with relatively high 'mate value' relative to other individuals of their sex),
          We also know that aggressing against lower status individuals (that is, individuals with relatively low 'mate value' relative to other individuals of their sex) produces 'reward' hormones; and vice-versa.
          Albeit with various caveats about how high rather than low status ('mate value') is expressed, in the situation of an old folks' home, those who express anger surely will tend to be the high status ('mate value') individuals.
          They live longer on average anyway, so you can't put this down to the expression of anger per se.
          Those who live in nursing homes are mostly widowed and singled, not spouses; and spouses don't have a status (same-sex 'mate value') relationship in any case.
          So there isn't the connection Dave guesses.
           
          Steve Moxon ( author of The Woman Racket, out from February 4, 2008. Details and extracts: http://www.imprint- academic. com/moxon )
           
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2008 4:36 PM
          Subject: Re: [evol-psych] Couples Who Express Anger Live Longer

          How much of the benefit of spousal fighting is due to the burst of adrenalin that it produces?  I have seen other studies that show that people in nursing homes who get angry tend to live longer and that effect was attributed to adrenalin. 
           
          Dave Alexander 
           
          In a message dated 1/31/2008 1:51:36 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, julienne@nep. net writes:

          SPOUSES WHO FIGHT LIVE LONGER
          LiveScience
          January 23, 2008

          http://news. yahoo.com/ s/livescience/ 20080123/ sc_livescience/ spouseswhofightl
          ivelonger

          A good argument with your spouse could be just what the doctor ordered.

          Preliminary results from a survey of married couples suggest that disputing
          husbands and wives who hold in their anger die earlier than expressive
          couples.

          "When couples get together, one of their main jobs is reconciliation about
          conflict," said researcher Ernest Harburg, professor emeritus with the
          University of Michigan School of Public Health and Psychology Department.
          "Usually nobody is trained to do this. If they have good parents, they can
          imitate, that's fine, but usually the couple is ignorant about the process
          of resolving conflict."

          So while conflict is inevitable, the critical matter is how couples resolve
          it.

          "The key matter is, when the conflict happens, how do you resolve it?"
          Harburg said. "When you don't, if you bury your anger, and you brood on it
          and you resent the other person or the attacker, and you don't try to
          resolve the problem, then you're in trouble."

          The findings add to past research showing that the release of anger can be
          healthy. For instance, one study revealed when people are angry they tend to
          make better decisions, perhaps because this emotion triggers the brain to
          ignore irrelevant cues and focus on the meat of the matter. Individuals who
          express anger might also have a sense of control and optimism over a
          situation, according to another past study.

          Bottled anger adds to stress, which tends to shorten lives, many studies
          show.

          In the current study, the authors suggest a combination of factors to
          explain the higher mortality for couples who don't express their anger.
          These include "mutual anger suppression, poor communication (of feelings and
          issues) and poor problem-solving with medical consequences, " they write in
          the January issue of the Journal of Family Communication.

          Over a 17-year period, Harburg and his colleagues studied 192 married
          couples in which spouses ranged in age from 35 to 69, focusing on aggressive
          behavior considered unfair or undeserved by the person being "attacked."
          Harburg said that if an attack is viewed as fair, the victim doesn't tend to
          get angry.

          Based on the participants' anger-coping responses to hypothetical
          situations, Harburg placed couples into one of four categories: both
          partners express their anger; the wife expresses anger; the husband
          communicates anger while the other suppresses; and both the husband and wife
          brood and suppress their anger.

          The researchers found that 26 couples, meaning 52 individuals, were
          suppressors in which both partners held in their anger. Twenty-five percent
          of the suppressors died during the study period compared with about 12
          percent for the other remaining couples.

          In 27 percent of the suppressor couples, one member of the couple died
          during the study period, and in 23 percent of those couples, both died
          during the study period. That's compared to only 6 percent of couples where
          both spouses died in the remaining three groups combined. Only 19 percent in
          the remaining three groups combined saw one partner die during the study
          period.

          The results held even when other health factors were accounted for,
          including age, smoking, weight, blood pressure, bronchial problems,
          breathing and cardiovascular risk.

          Harburg said the results are preliminary, and his team is now collecting
          30-year follow-up data. He expects the follow-up to show almost double the
          death rate compared with the preliminary findings.
           

          You are loving when your own pain does not blind you to the pain of others.
          Julienne's Blog: www.myspace. com/youandthecos mos.New Blog:"The Times They Are A-changin.. ."
          Radio: "You and the Cosmos" WHRWFM.org, 90.5 FM,
          Join us at EvolPsych@yahoogrou ps.com





          Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape in the new year.


          No virus found in this incoming message.
          Checked by AVG Free Edition.
          Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.19.16/1251 - Release Date: 30/01/2008 09:29
        • Robert Karl Stonjek
          Steve Moxon There is lots of epidemiology showing that whereas cortisol (the medium/long-term stress hormone) causes ill health through a range of diseases in
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 31, 2008
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            Steve Moxon
            There is lots of epidemiology showing that whereas cortisol (the medium/long-term stress hormone) causes ill health through a range of diseases in low status individuals (that is, individuals with relatively low 'mate value' relative to other individuals of their sex), it instead confers benefits on high status (actually 'mate value') individuals (that is, individuals with relatively high 'mate value' relative to other individuals of their sex),
            We also know that aggressing against lower status individuals (that is, individuals with relatively low 'mate value' relative to other individuals of their sex) produces 'reward' hormones; and vice-versa.
            Albeit with various caveats about how high rather than low status ('mate value') is expressed, in the situation of an old folks' home, those who express anger surely will tend to be the high status ('mate value') individuals.
            They live longer on average anyway, so you can't put this down to the expression of anger per se.
            Those who live in nursing homes are mostly widowed and singled, not spouses; and spouses don't have a status (same-sex 'mate value') relationship in any case.
            So there isn't the connection Dave guesses.
             
            RKS:
            There has also been work done on serotonin levels in the brain during dominance challenges - the serotonin level drops in the underling, he becomes aggressive and challenges a higher-up or becomes depressed and submissive.  If the challenge ensues then higher serotonin levels go to the victor, lower levels and depression/submission go to the loser.
             
            Robert
             
             
          • peter
            ... The drug extacy invokes serotonin, the legal drug prosac stops serotonin being reabsorbed by the neurons. This evidence suggests to me that we will not
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 31, 2008
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              On Thursday 31 January 2008 10:13:19 pm Robert Karl Stonjek wrote:
              > Steve Moxon
              >
              > There is lots of epidemiology showing that whereas cortisol (the
              > medium/long-term stress hormone) causes ill health through a range of
              > diseases in low status individuals (that is, individuals with relatively
              > low 'mate value' relative to other individuals of their sex), it instead
              > confers benefits on high status (actually 'mate value') individuals (that
              > is, individuals with relatively high 'mate value' relative to other
              > individuals of their sex), We also know that aggressing against lower
              > status individuals (that is, individuals with relatively low 'mate value'
              > relative to other individuals of their sex) produces 'reward' hormones; and
              > vice-versa. Albeit with various caveats about how high rather than low
              > status ('mate value') is expressed, in the situation of an old folks' home,
              > those who express anger surely will tend to be the high status ('mate
              > value') individuals. They live longer on average anyway, so you can't put
              > this down to the expression of anger per se. Those who live in nursing
              > homes are mostly widowed and singled, not spouses; and spouses don't have a
              > status (same-sex 'mate value') relationship in any case. So there isn't the
              > connection Dave guesses.
              >
              > RKS:
              > There has also been work done on serotonin levels in the brain during
              > dominance challenges - the serotonin level drops in the underling, he
              > becomes aggressive and challenges a higher-up or becomes depressed and
              > submissive. If the challenge ensues then higher serotonin levels go to the
              > victor, lower levels and depression/submission go to the loser.
              >
              > Robert

              The drug extacy invokes serotonin, the legal drug prosac stops serotonin being
              reabsorbed by the neurons.

              This evidence suggests to me that we will not understand ourselves, until we
              understand our limbic system and how it impacts on gender issues.

              Regards,

              Peter.

              http://dollyknot.com
            • steve moxon
              Yes, there is a surprising lack of understanding of the inter-relation of the key neurotransmitters concerned with dominance-submission. The crude picture
              Message 6 of 6 , Jan 31, 2008
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                Yes, there is a surprising lack of understanding of the inter-relation of
                the key neurotransmitters concerned with dominance-submission.
                The crude picture we've had for some time is that serotonin concerns a more
                long-term registering of relative dominance (intra-sexual 'mate value'),
                with testosterone and cortisol, though themselves having medium and longer
                term varying basal levels according to an individual's history, nearer to
                'the nuts and bolts' of the workings of dominance-submission.
                We know quite a bit about cortisol and testosterone and how levels of these
                hormones change before, during and after different kinds of stressful
                situations, and the striking sex differences here; but as to where serotonin
                fits in, there seems to be (unless I've missed some recent research) not
                much detail beyond the crude picture that can be stated in a single
                sentence.
                (Mind you, that hasn't stopped the psy-charlatan Oliver James writing an
                entire book on "the low serotonin society".)

                Steve Moxon ( author of The Woman Racket, out from February 4, 2008. Details
                and extracts: http://www.imprint-academic.com/moxon )

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "peter" <peter@...>
                To: <evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2008 10:37 PM
                Subject: Re: [evol-psych] Couples Who Express Anger Live Longer


                > On Thursday 31 January 2008 10:13:19 pm Robert Karl Stonjek wrote:
                >> Steve Moxon
                >>
                >> There is lots of epidemiology showing that whereas cortisol (the
                >> medium/long-term stress hormone) causes ill health through a range of
                >> diseases in low status individuals (that is, individuals with relatively
                >> low 'mate value' relative to other individuals of their sex), it instead
                >> confers benefits on high status (actually 'mate value') individuals (that
                >> is, individuals with relatively high 'mate value' relative to other
                >> individuals of their sex), We also know that aggressing against lower
                >> status individuals (that is, individuals with relatively low 'mate value'
                >> relative to other individuals of their sex) produces 'reward' hormones;
                >> and
                >> vice-versa. Albeit with various caveats about how high rather than low
                >> status ('mate value') is expressed, in the situation of an old folks'
                >> home,
                >> those who express anger surely will tend to be the high status ('mate
                >> value') individuals. They live longer on average anyway, so you can't put
                >> this down to the expression of anger per se. Those who live in nursing
                >> homes are mostly widowed and singled, not spouses; and spouses don't have
                >> a
                >> status (same-sex 'mate value') relationship in any case. So there isn't
                >> the
                >> connection Dave guesses.
                >>
                >> RKS:
                >> There has also been work done on serotonin levels in the brain during
                >> dominance challenges - the serotonin level drops in the underling, he
                >> becomes aggressive and challenges a higher-up or becomes depressed and
                >> submissive. If the challenge ensues then higher serotonin levels go to
                >> the
                >> victor, lower levels and depression/submission go to the loser.
                >>
                >> Robert
                >
                > The drug extacy invokes serotonin, the legal drug prosac stops serotonin
                > being
                > reabsorbed by the neurons.
                >
                > This evidence suggests to me that we will not understand ourselves, until
                > we
                > understand our limbic system and how it impacts on gender issues.
                >
                > Regards,
                >
                > Peter.
                >
                > http://dollyknot.com
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