Spouses' social support can have a positive effect on cardiovascular health, reveals study.
The findings from researchers at the University of Utah reveal that when both partners perceive the support they get from each other as ambivalent- that is, sometimes helpful and sometimes upsetting- each partner's levels of coronary artery calcification (CAC) tend to be particularly high.
Bert Uchino, psychological scientist of the University of Utah and his colleagues - Timothy Smith and Cynthia Berg - were interested in exploring how the positive and negative aspects of a relationship predicts cardiovascular health.
"The findings suggest that couples who have more ambivalent views of each other actively interact or process relationship information in ways that increase their stress or undermine the supportive potential in the relationship," Uchino said. "This, in turn, may influence their cardiovascular disease risk."
The study was published in the journal Psychological Science.