Abstract and Keywords
Drawing from epidemiological, laboratory, and natural environment (e.g., daily diary) studies, this chapter begins with discussion of the impact romantic relationship status (e.g., married vs. single vs. separated/divorced) and quality have on self-reported health, morbidity, and mortality. The shift from negative (e.g., conflict discussions) to positive (e.g., support discussions) romantic relationship features and contexts is noted and identified as one of several important shifts in focus over the past decade. The second half of the chapter identifies recent trends in the field (many of which build off the first half of the chapter). Specifically, four emerging themes and future directions are summarized: (1) increasing generalizability, (2) identifying underlying mechanisms via application of theory and attention to variables worthy of greater scrutiny, (3) acknowledging the significance of nonmarital romantic relationships (e.g., dating), and (4) expanding health outcomes and contexts studied.
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