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Value of maintaining a collective nature in marriage


Narrator:    This is Science Today.  A team of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley analyzed the conversations of middle-aged and older couples about disagreements in their marriages and found that those who use pronouns such as ‘we', ‘our' and ‘us', acted more positively toward one another and showed less psychological stress.

Seider:    We know that having negative and hostile conflict interactions that's related to lower, less satisfied marriages. We think that using the ‘we' words in a sense is going to help couples regulate those interactions, so that they're less negative and less hostile.

Narrator:    Benjamin Seider, a graduate student who co-led the study, says balancing individual aspirations and goals with a partner is often a challenge.

Seider:    And ultimately, often these difficulties and these challenges are what tear apart couples and really bring a lot of separation between them. To me, this is really important because it just illustrates how important it is that the couple kind of maintain that kind of collective nature, too. They don't lose that, they learn to maintain that.

Narrator:    For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.