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Re-evaluating the link between marriage and mental well-being: how do early life conditions attenuate differences between cohabitation and marriage?

Re-evaluating the link between marriage and mental well-being: how do early life conditions attenuate differences between cohabitation and marriage?
Re-evaluating the link between marriage and mental well-being: how do early life conditions attenuate differences between cohabitation and marriage?
The decline in marriage and increase in cohabitation raises questions about whether marriage still provides benefits to well-being. Here we use the British Cohort Study 1970 (N=7203), a prospective survey following respondents to age 42, to examine whether partnerships in general, and marriage in particular, provide benefits to mental well-being in mid-life. We use propensity score matching to investigate whether childhood characteristics are a sufficient source of selection to eliminate differences in well-being between different partnership types. We find that matching on childhood characteristics does not eliminate advantages to living with a partner. However, the type of partnership does not matter; among those less likely to marry, marriage provides no benefits to wellbeing beyond cohabitation. The sources of childhood selection seem to differ by gender: matching on educational plans and scores tends to eliminate differences for women, while adolescent mental well-being eliminates many differences between cohabitation and marriage for men.
2042-4116
75
University of Southampton
Perelli-Harris, Brienna
9d3d6b25-d710-480b-8677-534d58ebe9ed
Styrc, Marta
52dfef8b-7d07-49e8-b84f-43efa9464709
McGowan, Teresa
4524e894-04de-4822-8508-f4b966e12ae2
Perelli-Harris, Brienna
9d3d6b25-d710-480b-8677-534d58ebe9ed
Styrc, Marta
52dfef8b-7d07-49e8-b84f-43efa9464709
McGowan, Teresa
4524e894-04de-4822-8508-f4b966e12ae2

Perelli-Harris, Brienna and Styrc, Marta , McGowan, Teresa (ed.) (2016) Re-evaluating the link between marriage and mental well-being: how do early life conditions attenuate differences between cohabitation and marriage? (ESRC Centre for Population Change Working Papers, 75) Southampton, GB. University of Southampton 30pp.

Record type: Monograph (Working Paper)

Abstract

The decline in marriage and increase in cohabitation raises questions about whether marriage still provides benefits to well-being. Here we use the British Cohort Study 1970 (N=7203), a prospective survey following respondents to age 42, to examine whether partnerships in general, and marriage in particular, provide benefits to mental well-being in mid-life. We use propensity score matching to investigate whether childhood characteristics are a sufficient source of selection to eliminate differences in well-being between different partnership types. We find that matching on childhood characteristics does not eliminate advantages to living with a partner. However, the type of partnership does not matter; among those less likely to marry, marriage provides no benefits to wellbeing beyond cohabitation. The sources of childhood selection seem to differ by gender: matching on educational plans and scores tends to eliminate differences for women, while adolescent mental well-being eliminates many differences between cohabitation and marriage for men.

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More information

Published date: 3 February 2016
Organisations: Social Statistics & Demography, Centre for Population Change

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 386841
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/386841
ISSN: 2042-4116
PURE UUID: ad119c1e-f4f6-465a-9340-3e45066d2052

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Date deposited: 03 Feb 2016 11:39
Last modified: 03 Oct 2017 16:39

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Contributors

Author: Marta Styrc
Editor: Teresa McGowan

University divisions

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