Gender Differences in the Association between Marriage and Self-Rated Health for Older Adults across Eight Asian Countries

Erin B. Reidy, University of Michigan
Mary Beth Ofstedal, University of Michigan

While a large literature from developed societies finds significant gender differences in the effect of marriage on health, little is known about this relationship in less developed countries. Evidence from developed countries suggests that marriage benefits women's health mainly through increased socioeconomic status, and men's health through increased social support. It is not clear that such gender patterns exist in Asian countries, however, due to differences in the link between marriage and SES in Asia and the stronger emphasis on the extended family and filial obligations of children to parents. In this paper we use cross-sectional survey data from eight Asian countries and logistic regression analysis to explore the level and nature of gender differences in the effect of marriage on self-rated health. Preliminary analyses suggest wide variation across countries in the presence of gender differences and the roles of socioeconomic status and social support in accounting for these differences.

Presented in Session 23: Health, Well-being and Aging