A Simplified Indicator of Social Well-Being in the United States: Examining the Ecological Impact of Family Formation within a County Level Framework
In 1995, a study entitled “Does Marriage Matter?” was published by Linda Waite in the journal of Demography, which was concerned with the direction of such causal relationships. While Waite’s examination of the causal relationships associated with marriage, and most other analyses of this type, is primarily concerned with the individual level effects of marriage on a variety of outcomes, little is understood concerning the ecological effect of community marriage rates on levels of aggregate well-being. This study aims to contribute to this gap through the implementation of a recent conceptualization of social well-being as a multi-dimensional measure incorporating both biological, operationalized as average life expectancy, and social phenomena, operationalized as, community level crime rates (Raphael, Making the links: what do health promotion, crime prevention, and social development have in common? in 2004 ). It is important to understand such aggregate level effects in the face of the existing literature, which relies heavily on relational associations which could be subject to ecological fallacy. Analytic techniques incorporate Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis and spatial regression techniques, due to the high existence of spatial autocorrelation often evident in census data, as a way of understanding the effect of the aggregate level marriage rate on the constructed social well being indicator. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012
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Volume (Year): 108 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
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