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The Effects of Psychiatric Disorders on the Probability and Timing of First Marriage
Melinda S. Forthofer, Ronald C. Kessler, Amber L. Story and Ian H. Gotlib
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Vol. 37, No. 2 (Jun., 1996), pp. 121-132
Published by: American Sociological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2137268
Page Count: 12
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While studies of psychopathology have begun to consider social consequences of psychiatric disorders during the past decade, marriage has received little attention, despite evidence that it influences life quality. The present paper examines the effects of clinically significant psychiatric disorders on the probability and timing of first marriage and whether the relationships between psychiatric disorders and marriage differ by type of disorder, gender, and birth cohort. Psychiatric disorders are found to have substantial effects on entry into first marriage. These effects are the same for men and women across all cohorts. Individual psychiatric disorders have similar effects on entry into first marriage. Psychiatric disorders are positively associated with early first marriage, which is strongly related to adverse consequences, and negatively associated with on-time and late first marriage, which are related to benefits such as financial security and social support. These results highlight the importance of early interventions for psychiatric disorders-if not for the purposes of primary prevention, then for the purposes of preventing the cumulation of adversities that occur secondarily through early marriage.
Journal of Health and Social Behavior © 1996 American Sociological Association