Health and living arrangements among older Americans: does marriage matter?

TitleHealth and living arrangements among older Americans: does marriage matter?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsLiang, J, Brown, JW, Krause, NM, Ofstedal, MBeth, Bennett, JM
JournalJ Aging Health
Date Published2005 Jun
ISSN Number0898-2643
KeywordsAdult children, Aged, Demography, Health Status, Humans, Institutionalization, Marital Status, Marriage, Mental Health, Parents, Residence Characteristics, Social Support, Socioeconomic factors, Spouses, United States

OBJECTIVE: This research examines how physical and mental health influence living arrangements among older Americans and whether these effects differ for married and unmarried persons.

METHODS: Data came from the Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old study. These two intervals were pooled, and hierarchical multinomial logistic regressions were used to analyze pooled time lags.

RESULTS: Functional status and cognitive functioning are significantly associated with living arrangements among those not married. Health conditions exert no significant effects among those married. Given the same functional status, unmarried elders are significantly more likely than their married counterparts to reside with their children or with others.

DISCUSSION: These results underscore the critical role of the spouse in influencing living arrangements, providing new evidence supporting the assertion that a spouse is the greatest guarantee of support in old age and the importance of the marriage institution.

User Guide Notes

Endnote Keywords

Health/Living Conditions/Marriage/Health Physical

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalJ Aging Health
Citation Key7021
PubMed ID15857961
Grant ListU01 AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG154124 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States