Marital breakup in later adulthood and self-rated health: a cross-sectional survey in Switzerland
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This research examines the impact of relationship status on self-rated health (SRH) by taking into account intrapersonal and social resources.
Data stem from a Swiss-based survey of 1355 participants aged 40–65 years. Three groups are compared: continuously married (n = 399), single divorcees (n = 532) and repartnered divorcees (n = 424). Linear regression models are used to examine the predictive role of relationship status on SRH and to investigate the moderating role of intrapersonal and social resources on SRH.
Single divorcees show the lowest SRH scores, whereas their repartnered counterparts reported scores comparable to the continuously married—even after controlling for socio-demographic and economic variables. Although single divorcees reported higher levels of loneliness and agreeableness in addition to lower levels of resilience when compared with the other groups, none of these variables had a significant moderation effect on SRH.
Our results underscore the positive effect of relationship status on SRH, and contribute new insights on the impact of later-life divorce. Given the growing number of divorcees, related public health challenges are likely to increase.
KeywordsSelf-rated health Relationship status Marital breakup Later adulthood Resources
This work is part of a national research project awarded to P. Perrig-Chiello. It was conducted at the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES – Overcoming vulnerability: Life course perspectives and funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (Grant Number 125770).
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