Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies, University of Nebraska Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68588
Marital Quality and Health Over 20 Years: A Growth Curve Analysis
Article first published online: 20 MAY 2013
Copyright © National Council on Family Relations, 2013
Journal of Marriage and Family
Volume 75, Issue 3, pages 667–680, June 2013
How to Cite
Miller, R. B., Hollist, C. S., Olsen, J. and Law, D. (2013), Marital Quality and Health Over 20 Years: A Growth Curve Analysis. Journal of Marriage and Family, 75: 667–680. doi: 10.1111/jomf.12025
This article was edited by Deborah Carr.
- Issue published online: 20 MAY 2013
- Article first published online: 20 MAY 2013
- longitudinal research;
- marital satisfaction;
- physical health
Although there is substantial evidence linking marital quality to physical health, few studies have been longitudinal. This study examined data from the Marital Instability Over the Life Course Study; 1,681 married individuals followed for 20 years were included in these analyses. In order to control for life course effects, participants were divided into 2 cohorts: early life and midlife. On the basis of latent growth curve analysis, the results indicated that initial values of marital happiness and marital problems were significantly associated with the initial value of physical health among both cohorts. In addition, the slope of marital happiness was significantly associated with the slope of physical health among the younger cohort, and the slope of marital problems was significantly associated with the slope of physical health among the midlife cohort. These results provide evidence of the significant association between positive and negative dimensions of marital quality and physical health over the life course.