A longitudinal study of health selection in marital transitions

IMA Joung*, HD Van de Mheen, K Stronks, FWA Van Poppel, JP MacKenbach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

121 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-435
JournalSocial Science & Medicine
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • marital status
  • health status
  • health selection
  • MARRIAGE SELECTION
  • US PART
  • MORTALITY
  • DEATH
  • MEN
  • BEREAVEMENT
  • DISRUPTION
  • QUALITY
  • CHOICE
  • SEX

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