Monday , August 15 2022

People may lose control of life after breakup — but it does get better

A representational image of a couple parting ways after a breakup. — Unsplash/File
A representational image of a couple parting ways after a breakup. — Unsplash/File

A new statistical analysis from German researchers reveals that people’s mental health and quality of life are likely to decline post-breakup — but time will heal all wounds.

Previous studies proved that romantic relationships are linked to perceived control and better relationship satisfaction.

To conduct this study, researchers analysed data from three-time points in a multi-decade study of households in Germany. They used questionnaire results from 1994, 1995 and 1996 to analyse changes of “perceived control” for over 1,235 people who separated from their romantic partners, 423 divorcees and 437 whose partners died.

The results showed that generally, people who separate from their partners lose control of their life in the first year but gradually, they gain control in later years.

Further, women are more likely to have a decline in sense of control, whereas younger people have an increased sense of control than older people.

The authors write: “Our findings suggest that people sometimes grow from stressful experiences — at least regarding specific personality characteristics. 

“In the years after losing a romantic partner, participants in our study became increasingly convinced of their ability to influence their life and future by their own behaviour. 

“Their experience enabled them to deal with adversity and manage their life independently, which allowed them to grow.”

For future studies, researchers will investigate those who have not yet experienced relationship loss and evaluate changes in perceived control when a loss occurs.

The study was published in PLOS ONE and is by researchers from Medical University in Potsdam, Germany, and Jule Specht of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany.

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