Materialistic Couples Have More Money, More Problems, Study Says

October 13, 2011 Updated Oct 13, 2011 at 6:11 PM EDT

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Materialistic Couples Have More Money, More Problems, Study Says

October 13, 2011 Updated Oct 13, 2011 at 6:11 PM EDT

According to a new study by researchers at Brigham Young University, couples that focus on materialistic things have more relationship problems than those who don't.

A news release issued by the university Thursday says researchers studied 1,734 married couples across the country. Each couple completed a relationship evaluation, part of which asked how much they value “having money and lots of things.”

The researchers’ statistical analysis showed that couples who say money is not important to them score about 10 to 15 percent better on marriage stability and other measures of relationship quality than couples where one or both are materialistic.

“Couples where both spouses are materialistic were worse off on nearly every measure we looked at,” said Jason Carroll, a BYU professor of family life and lead author of the study.  “There is a pervasive pattern in the data of eroding communication, poor conflict resolution and low responsiveness to each other.”

For one in five couples in the study, both partners admitted a strong love of money. Though these couples were better off financially, money was often a bigger source of conflict for them.

“How these couples perceive their finances seems to be more important to their marital health than their actual financial situation,” Carroll said.

And despite their shared materialism, materialistic couples’ relationships were in poorer shape than couples who were mismatched and had just one materialist in the marriage.

Read the entire news release HERE

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