New York, Dec 9: Witnessing discrimination of any kind be it race, age, gender or other factors –not only harms the health of but their partner or spouse as well, a study has found.
“We found that when an individual experiences discrimination, they report worse health and depression. However, that’s not the full story – this stress spills over and affects the health of their partner as well,” said William Chopik, Assistant Professor at Michigan State University in the US.
A lot of the harmful effects of discrimination on health takes place because it is damaging to relationships, showed the findings published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, IANS reported.
“When one partner experiences discrimination, they bring that stress home with them and it strains the relationship. So this stress not only negatively affects their own health, but their partner’s as well,” Chopik asserted.
For the study, the researchers examined nearly 2,000 couples in the US ranging in age from 50 to 94.
The participants observed on instances of discrimination, as well as on their health, depression and relationship strain and closeness.
It didn’t matter where the discrimination came from, Chopik said.
“What matters is that they felt that they were unfairly treated. That’s what had the biggest impact on the person’s health,” he further added.
And that discrimination had a spillover affect on the victims’s spouse or partner.
As people are embedded in relationships, what happens in those relationships affects our health and well-being, Chopik stated.