In this study, we evaluate alternative hypotheses about the potentially harmful or beneficial effects of marriage on women's health and examine the factors underlying observed relationships between marriage and health. Using data from the Japanese Panel Survey of Consumers, an annual survey of a nationally representative sample of Japanese women (N = 1,610), our study advances current scholarship on marriage and health by focusing on a context characterized by a high degree of gender inequality. Results from models employing different approaches to the potential role of health-related selection into marriage consistently indicate that marriage is associated with better mental and physical health and that the lower levels of employment among married women play an important role in explaining this relationship. Our findings highlight the importance of considering how the specific pathways linking marriage and health may vary across societies with different gender and institutional contexts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Second shift