Happiness among married couples is still an issue of contention in various societies. There are myriads of factors that determine the level of happiness among individuals who are married. In a study carried out by Al-Othman (2012), vial information obtained from the Family Cohesion Survey was utilized to draw comparisons of various determinants of happiness within a family set up of individuals who are married. A total of 1136 participants took part in the survey in Sharjah Emirate, UAE. In addition, descriptive statistics were used to expand the data obtained from the survey. After aggression analysis was performed in the survey results, it was evident that marital happiness had a close correlation with religion, family size, self-reported health, residence, sex, education, and communication between the married partners.
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On the other hand, the author observed that there were some factors that could not affect marital happiness. Some of these factors included age, working status, and family income. Although the latter factors were considered in the survey as crucial predictors of happiness in any type of marriage, it was not clear whether they directly affected the level of happiness among partners who were married. Nonetheless, the distribution level of happiness among married couples within the stated region has been addressed in the most appropriate way.
However, a study carried out by Hamdan and Tamim (2011) seem to posit that there are minimal research studies that have been carried out in the UAE on matters related to postpartum depression. The empirical study conducted by the two authors aimed at exploring postpartum depression in terms of both the protective and risk factors. The study was also conducted among women residing within the Sharjah region in the UAE.
The researchers began with a prospective study for females who were within their 2nd trimester of pregnancy up to 12 weeks the postpartum. The researchers investigated quite a number of protective and risk elements during the study. These included the socio-demographic variables, religion, employment after giving birth, breastfeeding, and life events that are stressful. Although the study did not, correlate happiness of these married women after pregnancy, it was evident that the postpartum analysis managed to bring out critical factors that may interfere with the overall happiness of female parents especially after giving birth. Moreover, the study did not consider marital situations whereby both parents were present.
From, the research study, it was evident that religion and the number of children were crucial predictors of depression among women with children. On the same note, the study revealed that postpartum depression was a major threat to the happiness of women with children. In addition, poor or lack of proper feeding and the level of education of women who took part in the study were critical borderline factors of depression that were identified in the survey when this study is compared to that of Al-Othman (2012), factors such as religion and employment status are found to be common integral aspects that can hardly be ignored in either a single parent or nuclear type of family.
Ghubach et al. (2010) explore various aspects of human welfare in terms of satisfaction in life. Although some psychologists and other social scientists argue that the well being of a person is largely depicted by the level of happiness, there are those who maintain that the ability to be satisfied with one’s life is instrumental in attaining the required happiness. This implies that life satisfaction studies are the main source of information on how the well being of mankind can be attained.
From the onset, the issue of satisfaction brought out in this research study is quite similar to the proposals made by Hamdan and Tamim (2011). It is vital to note that Ghubach et al. (2010) aimed at exploring the concept of life satisfaction in terms of physical and psychiatric disorders. These two types of disorders are considered to be major determinants of happiness in everyday life. Older adults drawn from the Arab population took part in this study.
In order to obtain the most reliable results, a total of 2000 household sample took part in the face-to-face interviews. The sample was taken from a cross-section of the nation using a method known as the Geriatric Mental State Interview (GMS-A3). From the results obtained in the survey, it was clear that satisfaction in life was significantly affected myriads of mental or psychiatric disorders. Some of these mental complications include organic brain syndrome, anxiety, and depression. These disorders have also been found to be more harmful to the physical strength of an individual who has been affected. However, the study has not correlated the aspect of happiness and satisfaction in life. As such, the reader is left to draw an independent conclusion between the two factors.
Green, Broome, and Mirabella (2006) also investigated the relationship between postnatal experiences and depression among women across the globe. It was interesting to note the results obtained in the study were drawn from a global survey of women who had already given birth. However, the additional focused study was carried out among women of Arabic origin in the UAE. Both the physical aspects and cultural factors that aggravate depression among women after delivery were also considered in this study.
Women who took part in this study were drawn from the Abu Dhabi maternity hospital. The study was conducted using three important intervals namely immediately after delivery, 3 months and nine months later. Some of the major causes of depression included poor perception of one’s physical image, first born births, and lack of breastfeeding. Other similar factors included old age at the time of marriage and lack of a good relationship with immediate relatives such as the mother in law. Moreover, Islamic culture was also considered to be an integral factor in the research study.
There is a close correlation between this study and that of Hamdan and Tamim (2011). Even though both studies were carried out different time intervals, we cannot refute the fact that depression after giving birth is a common feature among Arabic women. Nonetheless, it is prudent to observe that the researchers did not dwell significantly on other past similar studies in order to draw comparisons. In other words, they largely addressed postpartum depression factors without correlating their study with other similar research findings that fall under this category.
Depression among couples who are married has also been superficially featured in the research study that was carried out by Schafer and Keith (1980). It is definite that both equity and inequity are integral factors that dominate relationships among married couples. A sum of 666 married individuals participated in the study. The study revealed that depression was eminent among married partners when performing key family duties such as parenting, offering companionship, provision of family needs, housekeeping and cooking. However, the cognitive and equity theories used to examine depression among married couples have not put into consideration their level of happiness.
Al-Othman, M.H. (2012). Marital Happiness of Married Couples in the U.A.E Society: A Sample from Sharjah. Asian Social Science. 8(4), 217-224. Web.
Hamdan, A. & Tamim, H. (2011). Psychosocial risk and protective factors for postpartum depression in the United Arab Emirates. Arch Womens Ment Health, 14:125–133. Web.
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Ghubach, R., El-Rufaie, O., Zoubeidi, T., Sabri, S., Yousif, S. & Moselhy, F.H. (2010). Subjective life satisfaction and mental disorders among older adults in UAE in general population. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry.25: 458–465. Web.
Green,K., Broome, H. & Mirabella, J. (2006). Postnatal depression among mothers in the United Arab Emirates: Socio-cultural and physical factors. Psychology, Health & Medicine. 11(4), 425-431. Web.
Schafer, B.R. &Keith, M.P. (1980). Equity and Depression among Married Couples. Social Psychology Quarterly, 43(4), 430-435. Web.