Weed smokers are not as productive in conflicts with their partner
If you’re a marijuana user and can’t sustain a romantic relationship, a Rutgers University study may have pointed to a major reason.
According to the recently published study, which was conducted in collaboration with Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, cannabis users appear to exhibit more negative behaviors during conflict with their partner. Worse still, they seem to ignore the unhealthy relationship dynamics they exhibit.
“When partners have chronic, unconstructive approaches to resolving their disagreement, it ends up eroding the health of the relationship over time,” said Jessica Salvatore, report co-author and associate professor in the Rutgers Roberts Department of Psychiatry. Wood Johnson Medical School. .
The study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, tracked the experiences of 145 couples in which at least one partner was a known cannabis user.
The couples were filmed having a 10-minute discussion about a topic they identified as a major source of conflict, during which researchers measured vital signs such as their heart rate and breathing, then had a five-minute discussion on topics that usually aren’t current conflict.
Both interactions were controlled by independent reviewers who were unaware of the study objectives. Ultimately, the cannabis users in the study were ranked as more judgmental and demanding, more likely to be avoidant, and less able to redirect to more positive conversations.
Additionally, physiological findings suggest that cannabis users have a reduced ability to respond to stress.
Yet, when asked how they thought the conversations went, cannabis users said they were more satisfied with how the conflict was resolved and did not see themselves as having used demand strategies or avoidance.
Cannabis consumer ratings were almost the exact opposite of what observers found, Salvatore noted.
“However, it’s important to note that the results of this study do not mean that cannabis use is overall good or bad for relationships,” Salvatore said. “Rather, it gives insight into how couples can better manage conflict and reach resolution. When you don’t see the problems, you can’t solve them.”
The researchers did not require cannabis users to be under the influence during the discussions observed.
Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]
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