The Marriage

Do you think that middle-age and older married couples are more or less depressed than unmarried individuals? I have a cousin who is scared of marriage because he fears he will be unhappy. He says that maybe when he is forty years old he will marry a twenty year old girl to pop out a few kids for him. If he was not my cousin, I would not like a person like this by the way he thinks and talks. Everyone should get married one day for many valid reasons. People need love, companionship, a family, and just basically to turn old and gray with. Individuals need a partner in life.

It can be hard to find the right person to be with. The divorce rate these days is extremely high. That is something I am scared of, as well as many people out there. Overall, there is more benefit from being married if you think about it. Although a bad marriage can lead to serious cases of depression. An individual handles their life how they want to and are to some extent in control of how things affect them. Many different external factors in life can lead to happiness or depression among married couples. Depressive symptoms can range from gender differences, to races, and income levels, for instance.

Personally, I know I would be able to handle my life in a positive manner with a good, fun-loving, respectable spouse. I would be much more happy and content if I were married and had a family, rather than living alone or with my parents forever, and being able to date numerous people. People really need to have a positive connection with another human being. Depressive symptomatology has been looked at as an individual matter, but social contextual models argue that symptom levels are likely to covey in close relationships.

An individualistic model says one person’s emotional sate has nothing to do with another’s emotional state. It emphasizes that one’s characteristics are affected only because of the self. However, this model is criticized for an introspective bias. It is also neglects interpersonal reciprocity and independence between partners. Assuming independence with interdependence can bias results and interpretations significantly. Depressive symptomatology had many studies with thousands of samples of different types of married couples and individuals that were unrelated and examined several factors.

One study was conducted that investigated correlations between spouses’ depressive symptomatology between middle-aged and older married couples, gender and race influences, and individual covariates like household income. Dyactic data and multilevel models are important to be used for understanding depressive symptomatology in married couples. The study tested on three hypotheses. The first hypothesis was that there would be a correlation between depressive symptoms of husbands and wives. The second was that gender and race would predict validity between symptoms.

The hypothesis specifically expected for husbands to have lower symptom levels than wives, and it also expected that white couples would have lower symptoms than African American and Mexican American couples. The third hypothesis was that the influence of gender and race would be reduced when things like education, health, and age were taken into account. An efficient way was seen on how to find out this research. Secondary analysis of Wave 1 data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the Study of Asset and Health Dynamics Amongst the Oldest Old (AHEAD) was conducted.

This was what the present study was based on. The American Psychological Association (APA) suggested in 1993, that the most prevalent mental health problem and significant public health concern is depression. Epidemiological studies had found that ten to twenty percent of community-dwelling elders report clinically depressive symptomatology. Would you think that married couples report lower depressive symptoms than older couples on average? The answer is yes. The results of the statistics show it. Let’s look at the facts.

Much of the reason why married couples have depressive symptoms has to do with the fact that most couples have a source of support, identity, and gratification. Support is highly essential for one’s psychological well-being. However, if one spouse is depressed, the other spouse’s risk increases as well. The results found that husbands’ and wives’ depressive symptoms were moderately correlated, gender and race, and their interaction predicted depressive symptoms, and both individual-level and couple level characteristics were significant covariates. There is a clear difference in marital rates by gender and race with mid-life and older adults.

Gender and race are both associated with various depressive symptomatologies. There were interesting findings. Women are more likely to be depressed than men. Marriage is found to be less beneficial to women, and men are more likely to be married than women. In 1996, fifty-four percent of people sixty-five years and older were living with a spouse. With African Americans, it was thirty-four percent, and with Hispanics it is forty-eight percent. Though, these differences by gender and race are difficult to disentangle from confounding factors like income, health, education, and marital status.

On average, people with a higher education report lower depressive symptoms. Couples and individuals with lower income experience more symptoms. Poorer health shows higher depressive symptoms, especially with older adults. Higher depression is prevalent in young adult marriages and lowers in the middle-ages, and then it rises again after the age of sixty. This could be partly because there are frustrations and stress in older adult, perhaps because of physical or mental differences and changes or even care giving. Overall, being married is beneficial.

That is what the statistics tell us. Generally, married people show less depressive symptomatology than individuals that are not married. The statistics seem to prove that unmarried individuals are at a higher risk for depressive symptomatology. Growing old with someone gives people emotional support because that person has stuck by them for so long, through thick and thin. A man needs a woman, and a woman needs a man. It would seem that unmarried people are lonely based on the fact that everyone needs a special kind of intimate love.

The example I mentioned earlier about how my cousin thinks to never get married, really frustrates and bothers me. I always try to talk some sense into him that being single forever will not make him happy in life. Going out with random girls will not give him love and companionship and might get old, still not making him happy. But he says it will. I know that he fears being stuck with someone forever and being miserable, but statistically he would have lower levels of depressive symptomatology. Marriage gives someone so many things to live for- like a good family.

An individual just needs to find a person to fit their personality and other factors relating to that. I know I will make sure that I will find a compatible person to marry. If I am not careful with choosing who I will marry, I might end up marrying someone and being completely unhappy, or I will end up in a divorce. People have control over these things, as well as I do. It is beneficial to be married. Among the benefits, married couples experience lower levels of depressive symptomatology than unmarried individuals. Indeed, growing old with a loved one will give one some sense of joy.