Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Divorce Undermines Health In Ways Remarriage Doesn't Heal

Date:
July 28, 2009
Source:
University of Chicago
Summary:
Divorce and widowhood have a lingering, detrimental impact on health, even after a person remarries, new research shows. "Among the currently married, those who have ever been divorced show worse health on all dimensions. Both the divorced and widowed who do not remarry show worse health on all dimensions," said the co-author of a new study on marriage and health.

Divorce and widowhood have a lingering, detrimental impact on health, even after a person remarries, research at the University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins University shows.

Related Articles


"Among the currently married, those who have ever been divorced show worse health on all dimensions. Both the divorced and widowed who do not remarry show worse health on all dimensions," said University of Chicago sociologist Linda Waite and co-author of a new study on marriage and health. Waite, the Lucy Flower Professor in Sociology and Director of the Center on Aging at the National Opinion Research Center at the University, conducted the study with Mary Elizabeth Hughes, Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health. Their research will be published in the September issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior in the article, "Marital Biography and Health Midlife," which was based on a study of 8,652 people aged 51 to 61.

Although a number of studies have looked at the connection between health and marriage, theirs is the first to examine both marital transitions and marital status on a wide range of health dimensions. Based on genetics and other factors, people enter adulthood with a particular "stock" of health, other research has shown. "Each person's experience of marital gain and loss affect this stock of health," Waite said. "For example, the transition to marriage tends to bring an immediate health benefit, in that it improves health behaviors for men and financial well-being for women."

These advantages are enhanced throughout marriage. Divorce or widowhood undermines health because incomes drop, and stress develops over issues such as shared child care.

Among the findings:

  • Divorced or widowed people have 20 percent more chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer than married people. They also have 23 percent more mobility limitations, such as trouble climbing stairs or walking a block.
  • People who never married have 12 percent more mobility limitations and 13 percent more depressive symptoms, but report no difference in the number of chronic health conditions from married people.
  • People who remarried have 12 percent more chronic conditions and 19 percent more mobility limitations, but no more depressive symptoms, than those who are continuously married.

The impacts of marriage, divorce and remarriage on health are based on the ways in which the various illnesses develop and heal, Waite said.

"Some health situations, like depression, seem to respond both quickly and strongly to changes in current conditions," she said. "In contrast, conditions such as diabetes and heart disease develop slowly over a substantial period and show the impact of past experiences, which is why health is undermined by divorce or widowhood, even when a person remarries."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago. "Divorce Undermines Health In Ways Remarriage Doesn't Heal." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090727135523.htm>.
University of Chicago. (2009, July 28). Divorce Undermines Health In Ways Remarriage Doesn't Heal. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090727135523.htm
University of Chicago. "Divorce Undermines Health In Ways Remarriage Doesn't Heal." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090727135523.htm (accessed November 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The MelaFind device is a pain-free way to check suspicious moles for melanoma, without the need for a biopsy. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Battling Multiple Myeloma

Battling Multiple Myeloma

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The answer isn’t always found in new drugs – repurposing an ‘old’ drug that could mean better multiple myeloma treatment, and hope. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) New information that is linking chronic inflammation in the prostate and prostate cancer, which may help doctors and patients prevent cancer in the future. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) Blood transfusions are proving crucial to young sickle cell patients by helping prevent strokes, even when there is no outward sign of brain injury. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins