Introduction of a person’s well-being. Made up
Introduction A relationship is the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are intertwined; in human connection, this is an essential aspect of a person’s well-being.
Made up of characteristics such as trust, honesty, respect, and love, we were created as social beings to make these interactions with others. As said by Franklin D. Roosevelt, “If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships- the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace” (Franklin D. Roosevelt Quotes. (n.d.
)). Relationships, in fact, can have a tremendous impact on our health and happiness. How we interact with those around us can change how we think, feel and view things. This is an important concept to consider because being aware of the positive and negative aspects of such a subject can lead us to certain life decisions.Summary of ResearchThe first article focused on how having a partner is associated with better health in oneself. Research was conducted, first, reasoning that a high self-report was linked to better health in life; if people think optimistically about themselves, it is more likely this will positively influence their personal well-being. Dually linked, research found that people tended to report being in a better mood when surrounded by others who also felt happy. This leads to the question: How do happy others influence our personal health? The article written by Chopik and O’Brien stated that there are least three reasons why a happy romantic partner might enhance a person’s health: 1) They are more likely to provide social support (such as being readily available and care-taking); 2) Happy partners allow unhappy people to become involved with healthy activities (regular sleep cycle, healthy food, etc.
), and 3) Being surrounded by a happy partner generally makes a person’s life easier (Chopik and O’Brien, 2017).In order to conduct this study, a sample of participants was collected, ranging anywhere from 50-94 years old, and were measured on six factors: happiness, self-rated health, physical impairment, chronic disease, physical activity, and concerns about self/partner health. Results showed that partner happiness predicted better self-health; those satisfied in their relationships were more likely to experience better self-rated health, less physical impairment, and even lower rates of chronic disease. The second article, discussed by Paula Pietromonaco, focused on mechanisms within close relationships that promote or hinder our health. In order to fulfill our basic needs, such as security and intimacy, we have to seek out relations with others. By doing so, we are able to better cope with stressors, promote personal growth, and obtain goals. Two main themes, social connection and social disconnection, are discussed in their association with relations and health.
Social connection, first of all, focuses on the structure of relationships and describes how we can use that structure along with support. According to research, there are three interpersonal processes comprising this theory: support in the context of stress, support in context of striving for goals/positive events, and intimacy/love (Pietromonaco, 2017). Stress or adversity is a common response to difficult situations, as a result they can affect our social relations.
Looking at attachment perspectives, having social support during these times can bring individuals a sense of security, which ultimately decreases anxiety levels. The second process, support in goal-strivings and positive life events, emphasizes the health benefits of support during non-stressful times (Pietromonaco, 2017). As we spend a large portion of our development discovering our personal interests and desires, having a support system can allow people to further their well-being and enhance their exploration abilities. And last, according to the attachment theory and multiple studies conducted (such as the Harlow monkey study), human beings have a biological need for belonging.The connections we make with others, especially in the beginning stages of life, ultimately impact and correlate with how later relationships are developed and sustained.
As stated by Pietromonaco, people are most likely to thrive when they feel intimately connected with significant others (2017). Our self-perception is established in the earlier development, but validation of who we are can also be manifested through the positive or negative aspects of intimacy with others. Brain imaging studies show that intimacy, acceptance and romantic love are associated with neural activity that has positive implications for health (Morelli, Tore, & Eisenberger, 2014).The second theme within these mechanisms, social disconnection, describe processes that deteriorate our health. Because of this, things such as negativity and social rejection may create chronic stress in our lives. Studies have shown that negativity is directly linked to physiological stress, which includes an increase in blood pressure, a poor immune response, and slower healing (Pietromonaco, 2017). Second, as we have a biological need for social interaction, experiencing rejection is also tied to health complications. Threats to this have been linked to multiple issues, including poor sleeping patterns, increase in risky behaviors, and greater cortisol reactivity (Ford & Collins, 2013).
Family, one of the most important social relationships you can form, has also been studied. The quality of this relationship has been linked to our personal physical health. In the third article, this is evaluated through the peripheral, biological and central nervous system pathways linked to family processes and physical health. Through these processes, we can use the hormone oxytocin as evidence; as stated by Uchino, “there are indications in both human and animal models that interacting with a partner can impact our oxytocin transmission and may facilitate further bonding” (Uchino, 2017). Clearly having an impact on social engagement, this can in turn affect our family bonds, friendships, and romantic relationships.
Health problems can develop, as well, with consistent insufficient social contact with others (Uchino, 2017). Examples of this in family standards includes neglectful parenting styles, family stress, and parental abuse—large risk factors for harmful relationships in adolescence—continuing all the way through adulthood. Children who experience unhealthy relationships with their parents are less likely to develop oxytocin, thereby affecting mental health as well as social interactions.The last article considering close relationships and happiness focused on attachment behavior in a study on satisfaction within relationships. In this analysis, authors looked at relationships both geographically close (GCR) and long-distance relationships (LDR), examining factors such as attachment, self-disclosure, gossip, and idealization (Lee & Pistole, 2012).
First, attachment, which can be defined by Bowlby, is an emotional bond with and the tendency to maintain proximity with a person who provides a safety, security, and protection. As an automatic response to separation, we seek closeness with one another, which can be difficult if our romantic partner is distanced from us for a long period of time. If we have a secure attachment, we can seek this closeness through things such as talking, touching, or being near our partner. There are three main predictors of satisfaction in close distance versus long-distance relationships: self-disclosure, gossip and idealization.
Self-disclosure, first of all, is a process of communication in which we are able to reveal information about ourselves (such as our thoughts and feelings). If we are able to have emotional disclosure with our partner, it more likely this will lead to an increase in attachment satisfaction. Gossip, on the other hand, can actually build bonds with others and strengthen relationships (Were & Salovey, 2004) if done in a non-harmful and nonthreatening way.
Furthermore, looking at idealization in romantic relationships can be used to assess satisfaction on a scale. If one or both partners seems to have too high of an idealization, which is usually used as a self-defense mechanism to hide threats in a relationship, this can be a sign of underlying conflict and can be harmful to both partners. In this situation, low idealization is actually ideal for indication of secure attachment and bonding.
Using this mechanism is much more adaptive and leads to realistic solutions when conflict arises. All three of these explanations for relationship satisfaction differ in GCR and LDR. In a GCR, for example, it seems as if though gossip will not bring about insecurity but is much more likely to be found in those in long-distance relationships (Lee & Pistole, 2012). For this procedure, participants were collected from both geographically close and long-distance relationships and were measured on aspects of attachment, self-disclosure index, gossip, idealization, and relationship satisfaction using a Web-based survey. The results found similarities and differences within GCRs and LDRs; similarly, insecure attachment was negatively related to self-disclosure, idealization, and satisfaction. The models differed in two ways; however, gossip was significant only for LDRs, and self-disclosure mediated insecure attachment-idealization negatively for LDRs. This is because those in long-distance relationships spend more time apart and feel a sense of pressure during the time they spend together to have it be a time of only support and engagement (Lee & Pistole, 2012).