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'Silent treatment' leads women to death: study
CTV ^ | Sep. 4 2007 10:05 AM ET

Posted on 09/04/2007 8:08:13 AM PDT by Grig

A study has found that women who use the 'silent treatment' with their spouses during arguments could be on their way to early deaths.

"This is the first time we've seen anything this dramatic that predicts death or heart disease that's not physiological," Dr. Elaine Eaker, who authored the study, told CTV's Canada AM.

The study found that women who silenced themselves during marital disagreements were four times more likely to die earlier than women who expressed their feelings during arguments with their spouses.

However, Eaker found that the health of men who indulged in the same "self-silencing" practice were not adversely affected.

"Even though men and women are equally as likely to, what we call 'self-silence,' during conflict, men did not have any affects on their health if they 'self-silenced' -- it was only the women that suffered detrimental affects on their health," Eaker said.

The study, called "Marital Status, Marital Strain, and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease or Total Mortality: The Framingham Offspring Study," published in the journal Psychomatic Medicine, was based on data from the Framingham Heart Study.

The Framingham Heart study follows over 5,000 men and women in the town of Framingham, Ma. and tracks their health over an extended period of time. The study is credited with providing much of the common knowledge into how diet and exercise affect heart disease.

In Eaker's study, traditional methods of determining marital quality such as the level of satisfaction and the amount of conflict were measured. However, the study also asked what behaviour strategies were used during marital conflicts.

Eaker said the actual practice of 'self-silencing,' not depression or anger, actually caused the health problems, even when other factors such as age, socio-economic background, levels of cholesterol and obesity were taken into account.

"It was the self-silencing that seemed to be particularly detrimental," Eaker said.

The most common illness suffered by women who often used 'silent treatment' with their partners was cancer and the next common affliction was heart disease.

According to Eaker, the study she conducted was the first to look at the factors of behaviour, heart disease and mortality in the context of marital relationships.

Couples should focus on improving their communication to combat "self-silencing," Eaker said.

"I think it goes back to trying to have more constructive communication and having a safe environment where both spouses can equally share and communicate," Eaker said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: communication; harpies; hearthealth; nagnagnag; psychology; seennotheard; shushwoman; silenttreatment
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1 posted on 09/04/2007 8:08:19 AM PDT by Grig
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To: Grig
Reminds me of a joke -

Q: Why do men usually die before their wives?
A: Because they want to...

2 posted on 09/04/2007 8:11:18 AM PDT by Andonius_99 (There are two sides to every issue. One is right, the other is wrong; but the middle is always evil.)
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To: Grig

Ping for later reading.

Thanks.


3 posted on 09/04/2007 8:11:21 AM PDT by ConservativeMind
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To: Grig

Hillary should live a long time based on the conclusion of this study.


4 posted on 09/04/2007 8:12:09 AM PDT by Man50D (Fair Tax, you earn it, you keep it!)
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To: Grig

Does this mean men are killing women? LOL


5 posted on 09/04/2007 8:12:27 AM PDT by Snoopers-868th
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To: Grig
"It was the self-silencing that seemed to be particularly detrimental," Eaker said.

Based on this, I predict that my wife will live a long but not quiet life.

6 posted on 09/04/2007 8:14:14 AM PDT by JimSEA
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To: Grig

Oddly enough, men who received “the silent treatment” from their wives lived considerably longer (and actually reported enjoying televised sporting events).


7 posted on 09/04/2007 8:14:52 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: Grig

I’d guess that this study really reflects the outcome of people who have all of the personality defects that are common to one who routinely practices interactions similar to and associated with the “silent treatment”.....in otherwords those persons who derive pleasure from extended conflict, whatever its nature.


8 posted on 09/04/2007 8:15:03 AM PDT by Vn_survivor_67-68
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To: Grig

This makes sense. My theory:

For men, silence is a coping mechanism under stressful situations of all kinds. In arguments, silence is a means of avoidance.

For many women, silence is a revenge strategy, which creates its own stress and is a sign of a passive-aggressive disposition.

For the record, I confess I am silent more than my wife.


9 posted on 09/04/2007 8:15:16 AM PDT by dinoparty
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To: Grig
However, Eaker found that the health of men who indulged in the same "self-silencing" practice were not adversely affected.

Phhhhew. I have nothing to worry about then.

10 posted on 09/04/2007 8:15:29 AM PDT by jdm
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To: Grig
So bitching is therapeutic?

Great......

11 posted on 09/04/2007 8:15:51 AM PDT by Cogadh na Sith (Gen X: I'll be the 'Junior Guy' until I'm 70.)
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To: Grig

This makes sense, since silence is such an unnatural state for women. I suspect that a study of men who do too much shopping would reveal the same results.


12 posted on 09/04/2007 8:17:14 AM PDT by ElkGroveDan (When toilet paper is a luxury, you have achieved communism.)
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To: Grig

Sorry, but I just don’t put a lot of stock in these studies anymore.


13 posted on 09/04/2007 8:17:17 AM PDT by Dreagon
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To: PBRSTREETGANG
Oddly enough, men who received “the silent treatment” from their wives lived considerably longer (and actually reported enjoying televised sporting events).

Combine that with our extremely advanced selective hearing and we've got some great defense and counter-measure capability.

14 posted on 09/04/2007 8:17:28 AM PDT by EarthBound (Ex Deo,gratia. Ex astris,scientia (Duncan Hunter in 2008! http://www.gohunter08.com))
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To: Grig
"self-silencing" == passive-aggressive
15 posted on 09/04/2007 8:17:42 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam is a religion of peace, and Muslims reserve the right to kill anyone who says otherwise.)
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To: Grig

Men have ways of dealing with it, such as taking a drive, listening to music, playing an instrument, or talking about it with a friend over a few beers. Women just keep it inside forever.


16 posted on 09/04/2007 8:18:39 AM PDT by wastedyears (Alright, hold tight, I'm a highway staaaaaaaaaaaaarrr)
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To: Dreagon
Sorry, but I just don’t put a lot of stock in these studies anymore.

A recent study shows that 74% of these studies are complete horses**t.

17 posted on 09/04/2007 8:19:34 AM PDT by Lazamataz (Why isnít this in Breaking News????)
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To: Man50D

Both of those two are getting long in the tooth. Speaking from experience, in his sixties, a person is no longer assured of an endless bit of time in this realm at least. We all have to meet our Maker eventually, and, as Bill once said on another matter “SOONER RATHER THAN LATER”.


18 posted on 09/04/2007 8:19:41 AM PDT by Twinkie (Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God . . .)
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To: Grig
The study found that women who silenced themselves during marital
disagreements were four times more likely to die earlier


If this applies to non-marital relationships...
I suspect I and most of my fellow males have each sent a couple of
females to early graves.

But, it ain't our fault.

When you get no response after saying "PLEASE, just tell me
what you want; I'm not a psychic mind-reader"...
an early death is the fault of the silent sphinx, not of the
poor fellow asking the question.
19 posted on 09/04/2007 8:23:18 AM PDT by VOA
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To: Grig

Silent treatment?

Looks like my wife is destined for a long and healthy life.


20 posted on 09/04/2007 8:23:42 AM PDT by vetsvette (Bring Him Back)
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