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Study says couples thrive when both partners are involved in financial processes

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PROVO, Utah (ABC4 News) – A new study out of BYU finds couples thrive in relationship quality and stability when both partners are involved in financial processes. 

The topic of research in this study is feminism. 

“From a feminist perspective, money is very closely tied to power in a relationship so it makes sense that having access to money and being included in financial decisions would impact a woman’s feeling of influence,” says Ashley LeBaron, lead author on the paper and recent graduate from BYU.

In their research, the team studied 327 mixed-gender couples with an average age range in the mid-40s, most having been together for 11-20 years. They tested whether both husbands’ and wives’ reports of four financial processes predicted both spouses’ reports of relationship quality and relationship stability. The processes studied were individual income, whether the couple had a joint bank account, the degree to which they managed money jointly and the frequency of financial conflict.

They then tested both spouses’ reports of relational power, for example, how much say or influence each partner feels like they have in the relationship.

In other words, they tested which couple’s financial processes predicted relationship outcomes and whether or not relational power explain those associations.

The team’s study was published in Sex Roles, a top tier journal in the field of couple feminist research.

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