The role of defamilialization in the relationship between partnership and self-rated health: A cross-national comparison of Canada and the United States
Partnered individuals live longer, healthier lives. In explaining this association, processes involving both social causation (in which partnership provides health benefits to individuals) and health selection (in which those who find partners were healthier than those who do not) have been invoked. Since much of this literature is focused in the U.S., comparative studies of the potential impact of policy on the causation and selection components of this association have been scant. Using comparable data from the U.S. Panel Study of Income Dynamics (N = 25,862, followed from 1984 to 2005) and the Canadian Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (N = 15,632, followed from 1999 to 2005), we test the selective and causal relationships evident during entrance into partnership. We use fixed change-point analysis with multilevel models to fit trajectories of change in both the U.S. and Canada. In Canada, partnership benefits were evident, while health selection was limited. In contrast, in the U.S., health selection was prominent in both men and women, but partnership benefits were not significant. We argue that the differences in the extent of defamilialization of social policy between the two countries may impact the way and extent to which people choose partners and benefit from those partnerships.
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Volume (Year): 75 (2012)
Issue (Month): 8 ()
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