The Effects of Marital Status on Health among Older Women: The Moderating Effects of Age and Parent-Adult Child Relationships

노년기 여성의 결혼지위와 건강에 관한 종단 연구: 연령 및 부모-자녀 관계의 조절효과를 중심으로

  • 손정연 (서울대학교 노화고령사회연구소) ;
  • 한경혜 (서울대학교 아동가족학과, 생활과학연구소)
  • Received : 2012.02.06
  • Accepted : 2012.04.27
  • Published : 2012.04.30

Abstract

Using data from Korean Longitudinal Study on Aging (KLoSA), this study examines how continuity and change of marital status is associated with health over time among older women, focusing on the moderating effects of age and parent-child relationships. KLoSA data set has two waves of interviews, and for this study, 2046 women aged 65 and over were selected. To analyze data, Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was used. The major findings are as follows. First, there was no statistically significant difference in health between continuously married older women and continuously single older women. However, older women who had transition from being married to being single showed lower physical health than continuously married and continuously single older women. Second, there were statistically significant differences in the effect of marital status on mental health according to the age of older women. Older women who had transition from being married to being single showed lower mental health than continuously married elders when older women were younger. Third, contact with children moderated the effect of marital status on physical health. Older women who had transition from being married to being single showed lower physical health than continuously single and continuously married older women when older women had less contact with their children. The findings imply after the loss of marital role, older women's relationship with adult children plays a significant role in promoting health. In conclusion, the findings of this study show the different pathways through which marital status is associated with health for 3 different groups of older women, being continuously single, being continuously married, and making transition from being married to being single.