Single people have better social lives than their married friends, new research suggests.
Researchers Natalia Sarkisian and Naomi Gerstel analysed existing data from two different US surveys – the National Survey of Families and Households and the General Social Survey – examining the nature of subjects’ personal relationships.
They concluded that single people typically make a greater effort to socialise with neighbours, friends and members of their family. They were also more likely than their married counterparts to help members of their community and to receive help in return.
The researchers found a noticeable difference between single people who had never married and those who were single because they had separated or divorced, noting:
“These differences between the single and the married are more prominent for the never married than for the previously married, suggesting that marriage extends its reach after it ends.”
The effect held true for both men and women.
The researchers called for a public acknowledgement of the “social constraints associated with marriage”.
Does singlehood isolate or integrate? Examining the link between marital status and ties to kin, friends, and neighbors was published in The Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.
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