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Does the Association Between Marital Status and Health Vary by Sex, Race, and Ethnicity?

  • Megan Beckett
  • Marc N. Elliott
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    The authors analyze the two-year prospective relationship between marital status and health - mortality, chronic conditions, functional status, self-rated health, and depressive symptoms - in midlife. The authors find no evidence that marriage is more strongly associated with health among men and women. They find that prior health selection accounts for half of the prospective relationship between marital status and health and that initial differences in socioeconomic status account for the rest of these effects. The authors find some evidence that the association between marital status and health among women varies between blacks and whites and for men varies between non-whites and whites.

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    File URL: http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/drafts/2008/DRU2869.pdf
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    Paper provided by RAND Corporation Publications Department in its series Working Papers with number 02-08.

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    Length: 34 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 2002
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:02-08
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    1. Waldron, Ingrid & Hughes, Mary Elizabeth & Brooks, Tracy L., 1996. "Marriage protection and marriage selection--Prospective evidence for reciprocal effects of marital status and health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 113-123, July.
    2. Goldman, Noreen & Korenman, Sanders & Weinstein, Rachel, 1995. "Marital status and health among the elderly," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 40(12), pages 1717-1730, June.
    3. James P. Smith, 2004. "Racial and Ethnic Differences in Wealth in the Health and Retirement Study," Labor and Demography 0408011, EconWPA.
    4. Michael D. Hurd & Kathleen McGarry, 1997. "The Predictive Validity of Subjective Probabilities of Survival," NBER Working Papers 6193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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