Marital status and health among the elderly

Noreen Goldman, Sanders Korenman, Rachel Weinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

341 Scopus citations


Many studies have documented a longevity advantage for married persons relative to their unmarried counterparts in all age groups. However, these studies have failed to determine whether the advantage experienced by married elderly persons arises mostly from selection and causal processes which operated at younger ages. This paper employs data from the Longitudinal Study of Aging (1984-1990) to explore whether marital status continues to exert any influence on health and mortality at the older ages. In the presence of an extensive set of controls for health status at the baseline survey, a series of logistic models are used to determine: (1) the magnitude of marital status effects on disability and on mortality, among older males and older females; and (2) the extent to which the social environment and economic status of the elderly can account for the existing disability and mortality differences by marital status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1717-1730
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


  • health and mortality among elderly
  • marital status


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