• Journal Article

Marital Status and Psychiatric Disorders Among Blacks and Whites

Citation

Williams, D. R., Takeuchi, D. T., & Adair, R. K. (1992). Marital Status and Psychiatric Disorders Among Blacks and Whites. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 33(2), 140-157.

Abstract

This paper examines the association between marital status and psychiatric disorder for Blacks and explores the extent to which these patterns differ from those for Whites. Widowed and separated/divorced Black males and females have higher rates of disorder than the married; never-married Blacks do not have an elevated risk of psychiatric illness. The association between marital status and disorder for White males is similar and stronger than that observed for Blacks. For White women, the separated/divorced have a higher risk of disorder than the married, and unmarried White females have higher rates of the substance abuse disorders, but lower rates of the anxiety disorder than the married. Across all marital status groups, Black males and White males have higher rates of disorder (except for depression), than females. A complex pattern emerges when gender differences in the relative rates of disorder for unmarried Blacks compared to married Blacks are considered. Separated/divorced Black men, widowed Black women, and never-married Black men are worse off than their respective peers. Except for the separated/divorced, opposite patterns are evident for Whites. Directions for further research are outlined