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Marital transitions and mental health: Are there gender differences in the short-term effects of marital status change?

TitleMarital transitions and mental health: Are there gender differences in the short-term effects of marital status change?
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsStrohschein, L.., McDonough P.., Monette G.., and Shao Q..
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume61
Pages2293 - 2303
Keywordscanada, family transitions, gender, marital status transitions, mental health and well-being, psychological distress
Abstract

Although there has been evidence to suggest that women exhibit more vulnerability to psychological distress than men when they lose a spouse or remarry, knowledge about the process by which men and women adjust to marital change remains fragmentary. This is due in part to the length of time between observations in longitudinal studies on marital change, with the result that mental health status is typically assessed long after a marital status transition has occurred. The purpose of the current study is to test for gender differences in the short-term mental health effects of a marital status transition using three waves of data collected at two year intervals in a Canadian population health survey (N=11,155). Growth curve analyses confirm the mental health advantage of marriage and reveal that the short-term effects of moving into and out of marriage on psychological distress are similar for men and women. We discuss the implications of these findings for resolving competing explanations regarding psychological adjustment to marital change.

URLhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16099576