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Mental well-being differences in cohabitation and marriage: the role of childhood selection

Mental well-being differences in cohabitation and marriage: the role of childhood selection
Mental well-being differences in cohabitation and marriage: the role of childhood selection
Prior studies have found that marriage benefits well-being, but cohabitation may provide similar benefits. Here an analysis of the British Cohort Study 1970, a prospective survey following respondents to age 42, examines whether partnerships in general, and marriage in particular, influences mental well-being in mid-life. Propensity score matching indicates whether childhood characteristics are a sufficient source of selection to eliminate differences in well-being between those living with and without a partner, and those cohabitating and married. Results indicate that matching on childhood characteristics does not eliminate advantages to living with a partner; however, matching eliminates differences between marriage and cohabitation for men and women more likely to marry. On the other hand, marriage may provide benefits to women less likely to marry, unless they have shared children and are in long-lasting partnerships. Hence, childhood selection attenuates differences between cohabitation and marriage, except for women less likely to marry.
0022-2445
239-255
Perelli-Harris, Brienna
9d3d6b25-d710-480b-8677-534d58ebe9ed
Styrc, Marta E.
52dfef8b-7d07-49e8-b84f-43efa9464709
Perelli-Harris, Brienna
9d3d6b25-d710-480b-8677-534d58ebe9ed
Styrc, Marta E.
52dfef8b-7d07-49e8-b84f-43efa9464709

Perelli-Harris, Brienna and Styrc, Marta E. (2018) Mental well-being differences in cohabitation and marriage: the role of childhood selection Journal of Marriage and Family, 80, (1), pp. 239-255. (doi:10.1111/jomf.12431).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Prior studies have found that marriage benefits well-being, but cohabitation may provide similar benefits. Here an analysis of the British Cohort Study 1970, a prospective survey following respondents to age 42, examines whether partnerships in general, and marriage in particular, influences mental well-being in mid-life. Propensity score matching indicates whether childhood characteristics are a sufficient source of selection to eliminate differences in well-being between those living with and without a partner, and those cohabitating and married. Results indicate that matching on childhood characteristics does not eliminate advantages to living with a partner; however, matching eliminates differences between marriage and cohabitation for men and women more likely to marry. On the other hand, marriage may provide benefits to women less likely to marry, unless they have shared children and are in long-lasting partnerships. Hence, childhood selection attenuates differences between cohabitation and marriage, except for women less likely to marry.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 23 May 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 24 July 2017
Published date: 11 January 2018
Organisations: Social Statistics & Demography, Centre for Population Change

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 410601
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/410601
ISSN: 0022-2445
PURE UUID: c69d2f90-365b-4b1a-b75f-89d61656b054

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Date deposited: 09 Jun 2017 09:12
Last modified: 09 Feb 2018 17:31

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