Conflict and Healing
In an interesting study subjects had blisters created on their arms with a vacuum pump. Then the couples (42 happily married couples, aged 22-77) interacted in two ways: (1) discussing something they wanted to change about themselves and asking their spouses for support and (2) resolving a marital conflict. Not surprisingly, the blisters healed more quickly after the supportive discussion than after the conflict discussion. And the very hostile couples healed at less than half the rate of the low-hostility couples. This little report appeared in the New York Times December 13, 2005, p. F6. The study was published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, but as far as I can tell, is not in the popular databases yet.