Marriage Minutes: Can Marijuana Mellow Your Marriage? Can 5 Minutes With a Bag of Rice Predict Co-Parenting? New research from the University of Buffalo and Ohio State University look, independently, at the affects of marijuana on a marriage and how co-parenting a baby doll can predict behavior when the real baby arrives. BY HITCHED EDITORS
Researchers have found that couples who smoke together report less domestic violence.
“ The behavior that the soon-to-be parents demonstrated with the doll was a solid predictor of how the couple would interact with their real baby nine months later.”
The following is a round-up of news items compiled by the Hitched editors during the week of August 28, 2014.
Mellow Your Marriage With Marijuana?
Whether you're for or against the legalization of marijuana, an undeniable positive is that we're finally putting the resources toward marijuana to have a better understanding of its impact and effects. For example, researchers at the University of Buffalo studied 634 couples over nine years of marriage and found that couples who smoked marijuana were less likely to report "intimate partner violence" (IPV). Other studies have given unclear results in the past, but this research is more robust, looking at patterns and habits for nearly a decade. The research looked at husbands and wives individually and found positive effects in lowered domestic violence reporting—with dual pot smoking couples reporting the least IPV incidents.
The Washington Post reports that the authors are interested in more research regarding marijuana use, such as abuse, dependence, and withdrawal—and how these things effect spousal interaction.
The findings of this research might not be surprising for many since marijuana is known for its affect to mellow people out, but don't expect that your therapist will begin recommending two tokes before bed anytime soon.
Predicting Parental Skills With Dolls
Don't drop that baby doll! Ohio State University researchers videotaped nearly 200 dual-earner couples playing with a "doll" (a 7 lb. bag of rice dressed as a baby) and were told to treat it like their own real baby. After their real baby was born the couples again videotaped and the researchers compared the two tapes. The study was published in the Journal of Family Psychology and found the behavior that the soon-to-be parents demonstrated with the doll was a solid predictor of how the couple would interact with their real baby nine months later—oh yeah, it only took the researchers five minutes of viewing the doll interactions to make their accurate predictions. So if couples were supportive of each other with the sack of rice, they were also likely to be supportive after their new (real) baby arrived. If the couples were discouraging or critical, the researchers found that behavior also carried over—as did the amount of time a couple would spend together with the doll co-parenting.
Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, one of the authors of the study and a professor of human sciences at the Ohio State University noted to Time magazine that marital satisfaction was taken into consideration for the study, but wasn't a predictor. "The co-parenting and couple relationships are not the same," Schoppe-Sullivan told Time. The professor also noted that couples who participated in the study tended to be a little better educated, therefore the study was not nationally representative.
The insight to be derived, however, is that parenting skills taught and learned prior to the arrival of a baby can help create successful co-parents once the baby arrives.