Journal:Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):11, 92, 3, 433-440
Study examined the effects of marital status, marital transitions, and sex on the well-being of individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) in the years since injury, examining the applicability of the marital resource and crisis models for this population. The marital resource model holds that marriage has substantial benefits for well-being over not being married; the marital crisis model contends that marital dissolution leads to poorer well-being. Participants included 4,864 men and 1,277 women who sustained traumatic SCI and completed a minimum of 1 follow-up interview between 1 year and 15 years after injury. Life satisfaction, depressive symptoms, and self-perceived health status were evaluated using linear mixed models for longitudinal data. In general, well-being improved over time following injury. Hypothesis testing supported the marital crisis model, as marital loss through being or becoming separated or divorced and being or becoming widowed, had the most consistent and negative impact across well-being outcomes, whereas being or becoming married had an advantage for only lower depression symptoms over time. However, marital dissolution or loss did not have a uniformly adverse impact on well-being outcomes, and this effect often was moderated by sex, such that widows had higher depressive symptoms and poorer self-perceived health than widowers, but separated or divorced women had higher life satisfaction and self-perceived health than men. Irrespective of sex, being separated or divorced versus being single was associated with higher depressive symptoms over time.