Revisiting Marital Status and Self-Rated Health: What Is the Role of Interracial Marriage?

Yan-Liang Yu, Michigan State University

This research adds the issue of heterogeneity within the married population to the literature of marital status and self-rated health via racial heterogamy as an example. I use 25 years of pooled data from National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), 1976-2010, from Integrated Health Interview Series (IHIS) to compare marital status differences in self-rated health among Non-Hispanic Blacks and Whites, with a concentrated concern on the role interracial marriage plays. The results show that when compared to the endogamous White, the interracially married are worse in overall health status, adjusted for all the controls. As for the difference between the interracially married and the unmarried, people in interracial marriage fare better in self-rated health than the divorced/widowed, even after all the controls are adjusted for. However, controlling for all other covariates, the interracially married show worse health than the widowed, and no difference than the single.

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Presented in Session 67: Intermarriage