Marital Status, Mental Health and Mortality: Evidence from the Taiwan Longitudinal Study on Aging

Yi Sin Chen, National Taiwan University

Although the theory of marriage’s protective effects on survival has long been a major topic of interest for social scientists, little attention has been given specifically to the link among marital status, mental health, and mortality. Targeting the population of 4,049 adults aged 60 years or above from the Taiwan Longitudinal Study on Aging from 1989 to 2007, the author investigated the depressive symptoms and mortality differences according to marital status with the applications of multiple linear regression and binary logistic regression. The findings revealed that there are evidence of mortality differences between divorced or separated groups, as well as the widowed elderly; however, little evidence between never married adults. Though the effect had decreased during 18-year follow-up mortality, the married ones still had protective effects on survival than the non-married. These findings point out the independent significance of marital status for depressive symptoms and mortality in later life.

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Presented in Poster Session 7