IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A longitudinal study of health selection in marital transitions


  • Joung, Inez M. A.
  • van de Mheen, H. Dike
  • Stronks, Karien
  • van Poppel, Frans W. A.
  • Mackenbach, Johan P.


We examined whether differences in health were associated with different probabilities of marital transitions in a longitudinal study, using Cox proportional hazard analysis. Data on approximately 10,000 Dutch persons of the GLOBE study, aged 15-74 years, were used for this purpose. The study started in 1991 and study subjects have been followed for 4.5 years. Of the four marital transitions studied (marriage among never married and divorced persons, and divorce and bereavement among married persons), only divorce among married persons was associated with health status: married persons who reported four or more subjective health complaints or two or more chronic conditions were, respectively, 1.5 and two times more likely to become divorced during follow-up than persons without these health problems. Since hardly any other studies have examined the role of health selection in marital transition with longitudinal data, more research is required before firm conclusions can be drawn. It can be concluded, however, that the frequently made assumption that health selection contributes only little to the explanation of health differences between marital status groups, seems, at least for the divorced, not justified.

Suggested Citation

  • Joung, Inez M. A. & van de Mheen, H. Dike & Stronks, Karien & van Poppel, Frans W. A. & Mackenbach, Johan P., 1998. "A longitudinal study of health selection in marital transitions," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 425-435, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:46:y:1998:i:3:p:425-435

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Hilke Brockmann, 2012. "Ungesunde Verhältnisse?: Eine Längsschnittanalyse zur Gesundheit von Kindern in zusammen- und getrenntlebenden Familien," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 503, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    2. Oshio, Takashi & Nozaki, Kayo & Kobayashi, Miki, 2011. "Division of Household Labor and Marital Satisfaction in China, Japan, and Korea," PIE/CIS Discussion Paper 502, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    3. repec:spr:eurpop:v:34:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10680-017-9423-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Hammarström, Anne & Janlert, Urban, 2005. "Health selection in a 14-year follow-up study--A question of gendered discrimination?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(10), pages 2221-2232, November.
    5. Jaffe, Dena H. & Eisenbach, Zvi & Neumark, Yehuda D. & Manor, Orly, 2006. "Effects of husbands' and wives' education on each other's mortality," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(8), pages 2014-2023, April.
    6. Molloy, Gerard John & Stamatakis, Emmanuel & Randall, Gemma & Hamer, Mark, 2009. "Marital status, gender and cardiovascular mortality: Behavioural, psychological distress and metabolic explanations," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 223-228, July.
    7. Lorant, V. & Kunst, Anton E. & Huisman, Martijn & Bopp, Matthias & Mackenbach, Johan, 2005. "A European comparative study of marital status and socio-economic inequalities in suicide," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(11), pages 2431-2441, June.
    8. Liu, Hui, 2012. "Marital dissolution and self-rated health: Age trajectories and birth cohort variations," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(7), pages 1107-1116.
    9. Artazcoz, Lucia & Cortès, Imma & Borrell, Carme & Escribà-Agüir, Vicenta & Cascant, Lorena, 2011. "Social inequalities in the association between partner/marital status and health among workers in Spain," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(4), pages 600-607, February.
    10. Hui Liu & Zhenmei Zhang, 2013. "Disability Trends by Marital Status Among Older Americans, 1997–2010: An Examination by Gender and Race," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 32(1), pages 103-127, February.
    11. repec:eee:socmed:v:197:y:2018:i:c:p:116-126 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Strohschein, Lisa & McDonough, Peggy & Monette, Georges & Shao, Qing, 2005. "Marital transitions and mental health: Are there gender differences in the short-term effects of marital status change?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(11), pages 2293-2303, December.
    13. Takashi Oshio & Kayo Nozaki & Miki Kobayashi, 2013. "Division of Household Labor and Marital Satisfaction in China, Japan, and Korea," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 211-223, June.
    14. Kenneth Couch & Christopher Tamborini & Gayle Reznik, 2015. "The Long-Term Health Implications of Marital Disruption: Divorce, Work Limits, and Social Security Disability Benefits Among Men," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(5), pages 1487-1512, October.
    15. repec:eee:socmed:v:201:y:2018:i:c:p:95-102 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Roos, Eva & Burström, Bo & Saastamoinen, Peppiina & Lahelma, Eero, 2005. "A comparative study of the patterning of women's health by family status and employment status in Finland and Sweden," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(11), pages 2443-2451, June.
    17. Manzoli, Lamberto & Villari, Paolo & M Pirone, Giovanni & Boccia, Antonio, 2007. "Marital status and mortality in the elderly: A systematic review and meta-analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 77-94, January.
    18. Katalin Kovács, 2005. "Proportionate or concentrated burdens? Health of widowed, divorced and nevermarried in Hungary," Demográfia English Edition, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute, vol. 49(5), pages 104-122.
    19. Astri Syse & Øystein Kravdal, 2007. "Does cancer affect the divorce rate?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 16(15), pages 469-492, June.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:46:y:1998:i:3:p:425-435. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.