IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Marriage protection and marriage selection--Prospective evidence for reciprocal effects of marital status and health

  • Waldron, Ingrid
  • Hughes, Mary Elizabeth
  • Brooks, Tracy L.
Registered author(s):

    Married adults are generally healthier than unmarried adults. It has been hypothesized that marriage is associated with good health because marriage has beneficial effects on health (marriage protection effects) and/or because healthier individuals are more likely to marry and to stay married (marriage selection effects). To investigate these hypotheses, this study analyzes prospective panel data for a large national sample of women in the U.S. (the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women). The women were aged 24-34 yr at the beginning of two successive five-year follow-up intervals. Analyses of the prospective data indicate that there were significant marriage protection effects, but only among women who were not employed. Specifically, for women who were not employed, married women had better health trends than unmarried women in each follow-up interval. It appears that marriage had beneficial effects on health for women who did not have a job which could provide an alternative source of financial resources and social support. In addition, analyses of the prospective data provide limited evidence for marriage selection effects. Specifically, women who had better health initially were more likely to marry and less likely to experience marital dissolution, but only for women who were not employed full-time and only during the first follow-up interval. Thus, the prospective evidence suggests that, for women who were not employed, both marriage protection and marriage selection effects contributed to the marital status differential in health observed in cross-sectional data. In contrast, neither marriage protection nor marriage selection effects were observed for women who were employed full-time. As would be expected, the cross-sectional data show that marital status differentials in health were large and highly significant for women who were not employed, whereas marital status differentials in health were much smaller and often not significant for employed women. Women who were neither married nor employed had particularly poor health. Additional evidence indicates that the women who were neither married nor employed suffered from multiple interacting disadvantages, including poor health, low incomes, and sociodemographic characteristics which contributed to difficulty in obtaining employment.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VBF-3YGV4D4-D/2/dc2c8cfc5ab1c97a45e5581e553573ca
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 43 (1996)
    Issue (Month): 1 (July)
    Pages: 113-123

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:43:y:1996:i:1:p:113-123
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description

    Order Information: Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional
    Web: http://www.elsevier.com/orderme/journalorderform.cws_home/315/journalorderform1/orderooc/id=654&ref=654_01_ooc_1&version=01

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:43:y:1996:i:1:p:113-123. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.