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Do Family Ties Reduce Mortality? Evidence from the United States, 1966-1968

Frances E. Kobrin and Gerry E. Hendershot
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 39, No. 4 (Nov., 1977), pp. 737-745
DOI: 10.2307/350478
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/350478
Page Count: 9
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Do Family Ties Reduce Mortality? Evidence from the United States, 1966-1968
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Abstract

National survey data are used to compute mortality rates for persons in different living arrangements. Mortality is lower for married persons than for nonmarried persons; lower for married persons with children than for those without children; and lower for nonmarried persons who are household heads than for those who are not heads. Two approaches are considered: (1) social processes select healthy persons to the statuses of spouse, parent, and household head; (2) those statuses protect their occupants against risk of death. The protection hypothesis succeeds better than the selection hypothesis in accounting plausibly for the sex and age pattern of status differences in mortality.

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