Department of Human Development and Family Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 1300 Linden, Madison, WI 53706.
Marital Quality, Socioeconomic Status, and Physical Health
Version of Record online: 1 JUL 2013
Copyright © National Council on Family Relations, 2013
Journal of Marriage and Family
Volume 75, Issue 4, pages 903–919, August 2013
How to Cite
Choi, H. and Marks, N. F. (2013), Marital Quality, Socioeconomic Status, and Physical Health. Journal of Marriage and Family, 75: 903–919. doi: 10.1111/jomf.12044
This article was edited by Deborah S. Carr.
- Issue online: 1 JUL 2013
- Version of Record online: 1 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 31 MAR 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 25 MAR 2013
- Manuscript Received: 30 OCT 2011
- marital quality;
- socioeconomic status
Recent efforts to promote marriage among the socioeconomically disadvantaged are based on the assumption that marriage is equally beneficial for persons with varying levels of socioeconomic status. Using 3 waves of data from a sample of married adults (the National Survey of Families and Households; N = 1,849), the authors evaluated whether the health benefits of marital happiness and the health costs of marital conflict might vary by education and income levels. They found that increases in marital happiness were associated with increases in self-rated health for individuals with more education. In addition, increases in marital conflict were linked to greater increases in functional impairment for persons with lower income. Although the results were not consistent and effect sizes were modest, the evidence nonetheless tentatively suggests that higher levels of marital happiness may be less beneficial for health and that higher levels of marital conflict may be more detrimental to health among persons with lower socioeconomic status.