A quick scan through shows some good stuff, probably the basis of future blog posts, but things are heating up here at Big Ol’ Hospital as the coffee’s kicked in throughout the physical plant, and your o’b’t blogwriter has to, you know, get to work.
Never too little time to give you an excerpty!
The marriage-centered point of view is evident not just in the framing of the results, but in the speculations that are offered to account for them. Let me illustrate with another finding. Over time, the health of people in the divorced, separated, and especially the widowed group got even worse. So, from 1972 to 2003, the health of people who had always been single looks better and better, while the health of the previously married looks worse. By the last year of the study (2003), the people who had always been single had a health advantage over the previously married that was greater than it had ever been before.
Why are the always-single people healthier than the previously-married? The authors one possible explanation that is called a “stress” or “crisis” or “loss” hypothesis: “the never-married are relatively immune to any apparent disadvantage associated with the stress of marital dissolution.” Translation: People who have always been single have not dealt with a marital relationship that has ended in death or divorce, so of course they are better off.
Do you see any problem with that? Can you think of any other explanation for why the always-single might fare better than the previously-married? I think this issue is so important that I am going to highlight it in a future post. So for now, think about your answers, and I’ll get back to you.