Taking a Covenant to Pick Up His Socks: Gender Traditional Marriage and Depression Among Newlywed Wives And Husbands

Kristy Krivickas, Bowling Green State University
Laura A. Sanchez, Bowling Green State University

We use unique data on covenant and standard newlywed couples in Louisiana to examine whether adherence to traditional marriages acts as a buffer for depression. We also explore whether emergent gender inequities in the actual and perceived division of paid employment and housework affect depression and whether covenant mediates the effects over distress caused by newlywed spousal roles. Covenant married couples may be better able to anticipate more traditional gender roles within their marriage compared to those in a standard marriage and are universally more likely to have undergone premarital counseling. In our preliminary analyses, we find that wives are more depressed than husbands and that the gendered division of labor and perceived inequities affect depression differently for wives and husbands. Notably, we find that the selection effect of religiosity wholly mediates the buffering effect of covenant status on wives’ depression.

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Presented in Poster Session 1