The purpose of this study is to understand self-rated health (SRH) trajectories by social location (race/ethnicity by gender by social class) among married individuals in the United States. We estimate multilevel models of SRH using six observations from 1980 to 2000 from a nationally representative panel of married individuals initially aged 25-55 (Marital Instability Over the Life Course Study). Results indicate that gender, race/ethnicity, and social class are associated with initial SRH disparities. Women are less healthy than men; people of color are less healthy than whites; lower educated individuals are less healthy than higher educated individuals. Women's health declined slower than men's but did not differ by race/ethnicity or education. Results from complex intersectional models show that white men with any college had the highest initial SRH. Only women with any college had significantly slower declines in SRH compared to white men with any college. For married individuals of all ages, most initial SRH disparities persist over twenty years. Intersecting statuses show that education provides uneven health benefits across racial/ethnic and gender subgroups.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology