Oral Contraceptive Use Associated With Increased Romantic Relationship Satisfaction


Taggart, Tenille C.; Hammett, Julia F.; & Ulloa, Emilio C. (2016). Oral Contraceptive Use Associated With Increased Romantic Relationship Satisfaction. Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research. vol. 21 (3) pp. 193-199


Hormone fluctuations due to menstruation may cause changes in mood. Oral contraceptives (OCs) stabilize hormone levels. Although inconsistent, some research has found OCs to have a positive impact on women's mood and affect. Stable mood may in turn lead to positive overflow effects in a woman's life as seen through increased romantic relationship satisfaction. The current study examined the association between OC use and relationship satisfaction. Data from Waves 3 and 4 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) data set (N= 4,311 women) were used. Women ranged in age from 18 to 28 (M= 22.26, SD= 1.79) at Wave 3 and from 25 to 34 (M= 29.02, SD= 1.73) at Wave 4. Results indicated that women who used OCs at Wave 3 were more satisfied with their relationships at Wave 4 than women who did not use OCs, R² = .049, F(5, 4048) = 41.65, p< .001; (β = .032,p = .041. These results suggest that hormones in OCs may have diffuse downstream effects in the lives of women who take them, including in their romantic relationship satisfaction. This highlights the importance of recognizing the primary and secondary implications of OC use and the need for both women and clinicians to understand the potential benefits of OCs in making informed treatment decisions.



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Journal Article

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Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research


Taggart, Tenille C.
Hammett, Julia F.
Ulloa, Emilio C.

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