Sex Roles

, Volume 53, Issue 5–6, pp 443–451 | Cite as

Marital Status and Health Beliefs: Different Relations for Men and Women

  • Charlotte N. MarkeyEmail author
  • Patrick M. Markey
  • Carl Schneider
  • Susan Brownlee


Although relations between marital status and health have been substantiated, the results of relatively few studies suggest how or why marriage is associated with health. To understand how marriage and health are associated, this study was designed to examine the role of health beliefs. Two thousand two hundred and six (2,206) adults who participated in the New Jersey Family Health Survey provided information about their marital status, proactive health beliefs, and proactive health behaviors. Results indicated that being married (vs. single) was positively associated with men's proactive health beliefs, whereas marriage did not appear to influence women's proactive health beliefs positively. Significant relations between participants' reports of proactive health beliefs and proactive health behaviors were found. Findings are discussed in terms of the importance of understanding the complex nature of associations between social relationships and health.


marriage health beliefs health behaviors gender differences protective effects of marriage 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charlotte N. Markey
    • 1
    Email author
  • Patrick M. Markey
    • 2
  • Carl Schneider
    • 3
  • Susan Brownlee
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyRutgers UniversityCamden
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyVillanova UniversityVillanova
  3. 3.Center for State Health PolicyRutgers UniversityNew Brunswick

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