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Association Between Marital Status and Health

Title: The Association Between Marital Status and Health: Variation Across Age Groups and Dimensions of Psychological Well-Being.
Name(s): Hsu, Tze-Li, author
Barrett, Anne E., professor directing dissertation
Cui, Ming, university representative
Eberstein, Isaac W., committee member
Ueno, Koji, committee member
Department of Sociology, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2014
Publisher: Florida State University
Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Marital status significantly shapes individuals' psychological well-being, though more is known about its effect on negative than positive dimensions. This study examines the association between marital status and psychological well-being across negative and positive dimensions, using data from two waves of the Midlife in the United States Survey (MIDUS 1995-1996 and 2004-2006). Compared with prior studies, my research examines a more comprehensive set of indicators of psychological well-being: depression, autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relations with others, self-acceptance, and purpose in life. I further examine how the associations between marital status and these dimensions of psychological well-being vary by age. I use three analytic samples to examine the cross-sectional associations and effects over time: Wave 1 sample (n=2,801), Wave 2 sample (n=1,737), and panel data containing respondents in both waves (n=1,657). Although the results vary across the two waves and between cross-sectional and panel analyses, results of Ordinary Least Regression (OLS) models indicate that, compared with those in other marital statuses, married adults tend to have better psychological well-being, including less depression and greater self-acceptance and positive relations with others. Differences among the married also are found, with remarried adults reporting more autonomy than continuously married adults. Using the multiple-group structural equation modeling (SEM), the results showed that the association between marital status and psychological well-being only holds for middle-aged adults (45≤age≤60). These findings of variation in the association between marital status and psychological well-being across not only dimensions of well-being but also age groups highlights the importance of further research examining sources of variation and explanations for them.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-9007 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Sociology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2014.
Date of Defense: July 2, 2014.
Keywords: Age variation, Marital Status, Mental health, Multiple-group, Psychological well-being, Structural Equation Modeling
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Anne E. Barrett, Professor Directing Dissertation; Ming Cui, University Representative; Isaac W. Eberstein, Committee Member; Koji Ueno, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Sociology
Community health services
Medicine, Preventive
Culture -- Study and teaching
Ethnology -- Study and teaching
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Host Institution: FSU

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Hsu, T. -L. (2014). The Association Between Marital Status and Health: Variation Across Age Groups and Dimensions of Psychological Well-Being. Retrieved from