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“In Sickness and in Health:” Does Cohabitation Count?

Citation

Wu, Zheng; Penning, Margaret J.; Pollard, Michael S.; & Hart, Randy (2003). "In Sickness and in Health:" Does Cohabitation Count?. Journal of Family Issues, 24(6), 811-838.

Abstract

Using data from the 1994-95 (Canadian) National Population Health Survey (6,494 women, 5,368 men), we investigated the impact of cohabitation on a range of physical and mental health indicators, controlling for self-selection into cohabitation and other relevant factors. Uncontrolled results indicate that the physical and mental health of cohabitors tends to fall between that of the married and the divorced/separated, widowed, and single/never married. However, when other factors are controlled, health differences between cohabitors and the currently married become nonsignificant. Self-selection, into cohabitation and into marriage, initially appears to play a significant role in accounting for variations in health, but with controls added to the models, selection mostly becomes nonsignificant. We concluded that self-selection at most may explain a small proportion of the variation in health but that protection effects are more likely to explain the positive health advantages of marriage and cohabitation.

URL

https://doi.org/10.1177/0192513X03254519

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2003

Journal Title

Journal of Family Issues

Author(s)

Wu, Zheng
Penning, Margaret J.
Pollard, Michael S.
Hart, Randy