The Mental Health Of Mothers And Fathers Before And After Cohabitation And Marital Dissolution
AbstractUsing data from years one and three of the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study, changes in depressive and anxious symptoms are compared for mothers and fathers who: 1) dissolve a cohabitating union versus remain intact; 2) dissolve a marital union versus remain intact; and 3) dissolve a cohabiting as compared to a marital union. In order to take into account potential sources of third variable bias from selection factors that differentiate those who are in cohabitations from those who are in marriages, mothers and fathers were matched on several sociodemographic control variables that research has demonstrated to be related to union formation and mental health outcomes. Results indicated that fathers who dissolve cohabitating or marital unions have greater increases in depressive and anxious symptoms over time than those who remain in their unions. In contrast, mothers increased in depressive and anxious symptoms, regardless of the type or stability of the union. For both mothers and fathers, no differences were found in change in mental health by type of union dissolution. In this low income sample of parents, results suggest that the impact of cohabitation and marital dissolution on mental health are similar in magnitude.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing. in its series Working Papers with number 1134.
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Depression; fragile families; marriage; cohabitation; income; mental health;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
- D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
- I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other
- J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-02-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2009-02-28 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-HEA-2009-02-28 (Health Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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