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The effect of marital status on stress in medical school
Am J Psychiatry 1982;139:1490-1493.
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Abstract

Two competing explanations have been offered to explain why the unmarried experience greater stress--the protection/support hypothesis (emotional support from a spouse offsets daily tensions) and the selection hypothesis (the more emotionally mature individual marries). To assess these hypotheses, the authors compared the difference in stress levels between 61 married and unmarried students during the stressful years of medical school. Stress was measured each year by attrition rates, self-reports, and interviews with spouses. The stressors of medical school were more severe for the single students; moveover, stress levels of formerly single students declined after marriage. The authors believe these results affirm the protection/support hypothesis.

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