Vital Statistics

A roundup of some interesting studies making news. As always, a mention here doesn’t mean an endorsement.

Reality bites

New research suggests that those who are overly idealistic about their significant others may be more satisfied with their marriage than realists.

The study is based off of 193 couples, the average age being 27 years old, with incomes averaging between $40,000 and $70,000. Each participant completed surveys abut themselves, their significant other and their marriage every six months for a period of 3 years. Based on the information provided by each person about themselves and their partner, the research team developed a ranking of each person’s perception of their partner.

The results revealed that those who had an unrealistic image of their partner were happier with their marriage over the three years. The study authors could not determine how long this idealization may be associated with happiness due to the study’s length. The study is published in the April issue of Psychological Science.

Online news readership passes print newspapers

Pew Research Center’s State of the News Media 2011 finds that online news readership has surpassed print newspaper for the first time. The Pew study shows that 46 percent of Americans get their news from online sources at least three times a week, while 40 percent of Americans get their news from both print newspapers and companion websites. The internet now only falls behind television as the most popular news source.

Are depressed dads more likely to spank their children?

According to a new study, fathers experiencing depression may be four times more likely to spank and half as likely to read to their children compared to fathers not suffering from depression.

The study consisted of over 1,700 fathers of one-year olds, who reported living with their children all or most of the time. The fathers were assessed for depression and 7 percent had symptoms consistent with major depression at some point within the last year.

Overall, 15 percent of fathers reported spanking their children in the past month. Out of the fathers who were not suffering from depression, 13 percent reported spanking, while among depressed dads, 41 percent had spanked their kids. This study is published in Pediatrics.

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