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ERIC Number: EJ983992
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 67
ISSN: ISSN-0192-513X
Marriage Trajectories and Health Risk Behaviors throughout Adulthood among Urban African Americans
Green, Kerry M.; Doherty, Elaine E.; Fothergill, Kate E.; Ensminger, Margaret E.
Journal of Family Issues, v33 n12 p1595-1618 Dec 2012
Although previous studies have identified a protective effect of marriage on risky health behaviors, gaps remain in our understanding of how marriage improves health, particularly among African Americans. This study uses longitudinal data to take selection into account and examines whether marital trajectories that incorporate timing, stability, and duration of marriage affect health risk behaviors among a community cohort of urban African Americans followed for 35 years (N = 1,049). For both men and women, we find six marital trajectories. Men and women in consistently married trajectories are less likely to smoke, drink heavily (women only), and use illegal drugs than those in unmarried or previously married trajectories. Late marrying men do not fare worse in midlife than men in earlier marrying trajectories, but late marrying women show increased risk of midlife drug use. Results suggest policies supporting marriage may have an impact on health but only if stable unions are achieved. (Contains 4 tables and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois