Relationships between Marriage and Women’s Health in Japan

So-jung Lim, University of Wisconsin at Madison
James Raymo, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Larry Bumpass, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Using eight waves of data from the Japanese Panel of Survey of Consumers (1996-2002, N = 4,145), we estimate relationships between women’s health and marital status (and transitions therein), net of baseline health. By constructing multiple measures of mental and physical health, we are able to evaluate the extent to which the impact of marriage depends on the dimension of health considered. Preliminary results from random effects regression models indicate that marriage is associated with lower levels of psychological distress and better physical health among Japanese women. At the same time, however, married women have significantly lower levels of positive affect (motivation, optimism and self-confidence) relative to their never-married counterparts. In subsequent analyses, we will reestimate these relationships using growth-curve modeling techniques and evaluate our results in comparative perspective and in the context of theoretical frameworks for understanding the benefits of marriage.

  See paper

Presented in Session 121: Family and Health over the Life Course