A report in PsychPort suggests that when families are forced to tighten their belts, they may tighten their relationships as well. Because families are spending less time doing expensive activities, their time is spent at home instead. I can see how this would work out. Cooking a meal, playing board games or watching movies together all lend themselves much more readily to conversation and relationship building. Of course, all of those activities require free time. If you are working multiple jobs, developing close family ties may be difficult because of the lack of time in which to do that. I would expect that the relational satisfaction is highest among those with a mid-range income in America. I’ve never seen any data on it though, so that is clearly just a hypothesis. In fact, most of the data I have seen suggests that happiness is not correlated in any significant way with income internationally. Within the States, the data I have seen suggests that wealthier people are happier, but that is largely due to the increased access to medical care. What would you think?
American Psychological Association (2009, June 2). Tough Times Mean Time Together for Some Families. PsychPort. Retrieved June 11, 2009, from http://www.psycport.com/showArticle.cfm?xmlFile=ap_2009_06_02_ap.online.all_D98ILEDO0_news_ap_org.anpa.xml&provider=