Gendered Effects of Marriage on Health in Japan: Structures and Gender Roles

Emi Tamaki, University of Washington

One of the most robust findings in health literature is the association between marital status and health (e.g. Wood et al. 2007). The debate, however, remains as to the gendered effect of marriage on health (Carr and Springer 2010). Using the nationally representative sample of Japanese young adults (aged 20-40, N=4800), this paper examines the distributions of self-rated health by gender and marital status from the perspectives of gender roles and structural advantages of marriage. Results indicate that, unlike findings in the United States, women benefit more from marriage, but the positive effect of marriage depends on their work status: combining full-time work and marriage is found to deteriorate women’s health. Mechanisms linking the marriage and better health are also found to be different and gendered in Japan.

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Presented in Poster Session 4