Consistency and Timing of Marital Transitions and Survival During Midlife: the Role of Personality and Health Risk Behaviors
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Marital status is associated with survival.
The aims of this study are to evaluate marital history and timing on mortality during midlife, test the role of pre-marital personality, and quantify the role of health risk behaviors.
Cox proportional hazard models were run with varying classifications of marital history and sets of covariates.
In fully adjusted models compared to the currently married, lifetime marital history predicts premature mortality with never married at 2.33 times risk of death and ever married at 1.64 risk of death. Midlife marital history shows that not having a partner during midlife (hazard ratio (HR) = 3.10 formerly married; HR = 2.59 remaining single) has the highest risk of death. Controlling for personality and health risk behaviors reduces but does not eliminate the impact of marital status.
Consistency of marital status during midlife suggests that lack of a partner is associated with midlife mortality.
- Internal Revenue Service. Publication 590. Table 1. Single Life Expectancy. 2009: P. 90.
- Heron, M, Hoyert, DL, Murphy, SL, Xu, J, Kochanek, KD, Tejada-Vera, BS (2009) Deaths: Final data for 2006. Natl Vital Stat Rep 57: pp. 11-12
- Ben-Shlomo, Y, Smith, GD, Shipley, M, Marmot, MG (1993) Magnitude and causes of mortality differences between married and unmarried men. J Epidemiol Commun Health 47: pp. 200-205 CrossRef
- Tucker, JS, Friedman, HS, Wingard, DL, Schwartz, JE (1996) Marital history at midlife as a predictor of longevity: Alternative explanations of the protective effect of marriage. Health Psychol 15: pp. 94-101 CrossRef
- Johnson, NJ, Backlund, E, Sorlie, PD, Loveless, CA (2000) Marital status and mortality: The National Longitudinal Mortality Study. Ann Epidemiol 10: pp. 224-238 CrossRef
- Lund, R, Holstein, BE, Osler, M (2003) Marital history from age 15 to 40 years and subsequent 10-year mortality: A longitudinal study of Danish males born in 1953. Int J Epidemiol 33: pp. 389-397 CrossRef
- Dupre, ME, Beck, AN, Meadows, SO (2009) Marital trajectories and mortality among US adults. Am J Epidemiol 170: pp. 546-555 CrossRef
- Carstensen, LL, Hartel, CR eds. (2006) When I’m 64. National Academy Press, Washington DC
- Pruchno, R (2012) Not your mother’s old age: Baby Boomers at age 65. Gerontologist 52: pp. 149-52 CrossRef
- Schaie, KW (2005) Developmental influences on adult intelligence: The Seattle Longitudinal Study. Oxford University Press, New York CrossRef
- Rosow, I (1978) What is a cohort and why?. Hum Dev 21: pp. 65-75 CrossRef
- Williams, RB Psychological factors, health and disease: The impact of aging and the lifecycle. In: Manuck, SB, Jennings, R, Rabin, BS, Baum, A eds. (2000) Behavior, health and aging. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, pp. 135-151
- Siegler, IC, Peterson, BL, Barefoot, JC (1992) Using college alumni populations in epidemiologic research: The UNC Alumni Heart Study. J Clin Epidemiol 45: pp. 1243-1250 CrossRef
- Siegler, IC, Costa, PT, Brummett, BH (2003) Patterns of change in hostility from college to midlife in the UNC Alumni Heart Study predict high-risk status. Psychosom Med 65: pp. 738-745 CrossRef
- Hooker, K, Hoppmann, C, Siegler, IC Personality: Life span compass for health. In: Whitfield, KE eds. (2010) Annual review of gerontology and geriatrics: Focus on behavioral prospective on health in later life. Springer, New York, pp. 201-232
- Siegler, IC, Peterson, BL, Barefoot, JC, Williams, RB (1992) Hostility during late adolescence predicts coronary risk factors at midlife. Am J Epidemiol 136: pp. 146-154
- Siegler, IC, Feaganes, JR, Rimer, BK (1995) Predictors of adoption of mammography in women under the age of 50. Health Psychol 14: pp. 274-78 CrossRef
- Hathaway, SR, McKinley, JC (1943) Booklet for the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis
- Dahlstrom, WG, Welsh, GS, Dahlstrom, LE (1975) An MMPI handbook: Research applications. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis
- Cook, WW, Medley, DM (1954) Proposed hostility and pharisaic-virtue scales for the MMPI. J Appl Psychol 38: pp. 414-418 CrossRef
- Colligan, RC, Offord, KP, Malinchoc, M, Schulman, P, Seligman, ME (1994) CAVEing the MMPI for an optimism-pessimism scale: Seligman’s attributional model and the assessment of explanatory style. J Clin Psychol 50: pp. 71-95 CrossRef
- Malinchoc, M, Offord, KP, Colligan, RC (1995) PSM-R: Revised optimism-pessimism scale for the MMPI2 and the MMPI. J Clin Psychol 51: pp. 205-214 CrossRef
- Maruta, T, Colligan, RC, Malinchoc, M, Offord, KP (2002) Optimists vs. pessimists: Survival rate among medical patients over a 30-year period. Mayo Clin Proc 75: pp. 140-143
- Brummett, BH, Helms, MJ, Dahlstrom, WG, Siegler, IC (2006) Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: Study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period. Mayo Clin Proc 81: pp. 1541-1544 CrossRef
- Tindle, HA, Chang, YF, Kuller, LH (2009) Optimism, cynical hostility and incident coronary heart disease and mortality in the women’s health initiative. Circulation 120: pp. 656-662 CrossRef
- Siegler, IC, Zonderman, AB, Barefoot, JC, Williams, RB, Costa, PT, McCrae, RR (1990) Predicting personality in adulthood from College MMPI Scores: Implications for follow-up studies in psychosomatic medicine. Psychosom Med 52: pp. 644-652
- Henretta, JC (2010) Lifetime marital history and mortality after age 50. J Aging Health 22: pp. 1198-1212 CrossRef
- Mortensen, LH, Siegler, IC, Barefoot, JC, Gronbaek, M, Sorensen, TIA (2006) Prospective associations between sedentary lifestyle and BMI in midlife. Obesity 14: pp. 1462-1471 CrossRef
- Brummett, BH, Babyak, MA, Williams, RB, Barefoot, JC, Costa, PT, Siegler, IC (2006) NEO personality domains and gender predict levels and trends in Body Mass Index over 14 years during midlife. J Res Pers 40: pp. 222-236 CrossRef
- SAS v. 9.1. SAS Institute, Cary NC.
- Hughes, ME, Waite, LJ (2009) Marital biography and health at midlife. J Health Soc Beh 50: pp. 344-358 CrossRef
- Joung, IMA, Mheen, HD, Stronks, K, Poppel, FWA, Mackenbach, JP (1998) A longitudinal study of health selection in marital transitions. Soc Sci Med 46: pp. 425-435 CrossRef
- U. S. Census. Selected characteristics of Baby Boomers 42–60 years old in 2006. Available at http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/age/2006%20Baby%20Boomers.pdf. Accessibility verified November 10, 2010.
- Merrill, SS, Verbrugge, LM Health and disease at midlife. In: Willis, SL, Reid, JD eds. (1999) Life in the Middle. Academic, San Diego, pp. 78-103
- Holt-Lunstad, J, Smith, TB, Layton, JB (2010) Social relationships and mortality risk: A meta-analytic review. PLoS Med 7: pp. 1-20 CrossRef
- Krieger, N, Rehkopf, DH, Chen, JT (2008) The fall and rise of US inequities in premature mortality: 1960–2002. PLoS Med 5: pp. 0227-0241 CrossRef
- Dras, DD, Williams, RB, Kaplan, BH, Siegler, IC (1996) Correlates of perceived social support and equality of interpersonal relationships at midlife. Int J Aging Hum Dev 43: pp. 199-217 CrossRef
- Brodhead, WE, Kaplan, BH, James, SA (1983) The epidemiologic evidence for a relationship between social support and health. Am J Epidemiol 117: pp. 521-537
- Kiecolt-Glaser, JK, Newton, TL (2001) Marriage and health: His and hers. Psychol Bull 127: pp. 472-503 CrossRef
- Croezen S, Havenman-Nies A, Picavet HSJ, et al. Positive and negative experiences of social support and long-term mortality among middle aged Dutch people. Am J Epidemiol. 2010; 173–179.
- Miller, G (2011) Why Loneliness is hazardous to your health. Science 331: pp. 138-140 CrossRef
- Hawkley, LW, Cacioppo, JT (2010) Loneliness matters: A theoretical and empirical review of consequences and mechanisms. Ann Behav Med 40: pp. 218-227 CrossRef
- Roelfs, DJ, Shor, E, Yogev, T (2011) The rising relative risk of mortality for singles: Meta-analysis and meta-regression. Am J Epidemiol 174: pp. 379-389 CrossRef
- Consistency and Timing of Marital Transitions and Survival During Midlife: the Role of Personality and Health Risk Behaviors
Annals of Behavioral Medicine
Volume 45, Issue 3 , pp 338-347
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Additional Links
- Marital history
- Midlife mortality
- Longitudinal study
- UNC Alumni Heart Study
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA
- 3. Behavioral Medicine Research Center, 2212 Elder St, Durham, NC, 27705, USA
- 2. Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA