Food Security and Health Outcomes following Gray Divorce.

TitleFood Security and Health Outcomes following Gray Divorce.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2024
AuthorsZhao, H, Andreyeva, T, Sun, X
ISSN Number2072-6643
KeywordsAdult, Aged, Divorce, Female, Food security, Food Supply, Humans, Marriage, Outcome Assessment, Health Care, Retirement, United States

The study evaluates the immediate and long-term consequences of gray divorce (i.e., marital dissolution after age 50) for the food security, depression, and disability of older Americans. Staggered Difference-in-Difference models were fitted to a nationally representative longitudinal sample of adults aged ≥ 50 years from the Health and Retirement Study, 1998-2018. Food insecurity and disability increase in the year of gray divorce and remain significantly elevated for up to six years or more following the event, consistent with the chronic strain model of gray divorce. Gray divorce has particularly adverse consequences for the food security of older women, while no gender differences were observed for disability. Increasing trends in gray divorce have important negative implications for food security and health of older Americans, particularly women, who appear to be less prepared to financially withstand a marital collapse in older age. Targeted policies to provide nutrition assistance and support in reemployment might be necessary to reduce the burden of food insecurity in the wake of gray divorce among women.

Alternate JournalNutrients
Citation Key13832
PubMed ID38474761
PubMed Central IDPMC10935280
Grant List1020429 / / USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Hatch multi-state project /