Disaggregating the Effects of Marital Trajectories on Health

Published In: Journal of Family Issues, v. 28, no. 5, May 2007, p. 623-652

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2006

by Matthew E. Dupre, Sarah O. Meadows

Read More

Access further information on this document at Sage Publications

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Recent studies linking marital status and health increasingly focus on marital trajectories to examine the relationship from a life course perspective. However, research has been slow to bridge the theoretical concept of a marital trajectory with its measurement. This study uses retrospective and prospective data to model the age-dependent effects of marital sequences, timing, transitions, and durations on physical health. Results indicate that marriage duration is associated with lower rates of disease for men and women; however, the effect is time dependent and contingent on other trajectory components. For females, marriage timing, and the cumulative number of divorce transitions ale also important for health. For males, divorce duration and widowhood transitions play an integral role in this process. The authors also find that marital typologies have no effect when the number of transitions is taken into account.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.