Explaining the Psychological Benefits of Marriage among the Depressed

Adrianne Frech, Ohio State University

Past research has demonstrated that, relative to their non-married counterparts, those who are depressed prior to marriage benefit more from a transition into marriage than the non-depressed. Using the National Survey of Families and Households, I consider a series of mediating and moderating factors to explain the disparity in the psychological benefits of marriage between the previously depressed and the non-depressed. Prior studies suggest that the difference in benefits may be related to differences in marital expectations, differences in the impact of changes in social support outside the spousal relationship, or differences in the impact of changes in wealth. Preliminary findings indicate that the disparity is related most strongly to wealth and changes in the giving of social support after entering marriage.

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Presented in Session 174: Husbands, Wives, Marriage, and Health