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When both partners are involved in financial decisions and processes, they're more empowered, and relationship quality and stability tend to be higher, according to a study from BYU researchers.
The lens through which they studied? Feminism.
Feminism - Framework - Couple - Finance - Research
Feminism is rarely used as a theoretical framework for couple finance research, and this paper is the first of its kind to explicitly do so.
"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," said Ashley LeBaron, lead author on the paper and recent graduate from BYU. "The best relationships are those where both partners have high relational power."
Studies - Practices - Bank - Accounts - Conflict
Previous studies have already found that egalitarian practices such as joint bank accounts and low financial conflict are associated with better relationship outcomes, but an explanation for why, exactly, that has been the case was lacking.
According to the BYU researchers, it comes down to both partners feeling empowered and exhibiting trust.
Relationships - Thrive - Trust - Jeff - Hill
"Relationships that thrive are based in trust," said Jeff Hill, BYU professor of family life and co-author on the study. "So when you relinquish control over something that is near and dear to you—like the money that you work so hard to earn, regardless of gender—and say, 'this is ours and we are going to have equal access to it,'...
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