The effects of marital status transitions on alcohol use trajectories

Hui Liew


This study aims to exploit the longitudinal nature of the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS), using a semi-parametric mixture modeling (SPMM) approach to examine whether the presence of marital transitions has an impact on alcohol use trajectories among the elderly. The empirical work of this study is based on the 1994-2008 Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Findings provide support to the marriage protection effect: for both elderly men and women, remaining divorced or widowed had detrimental effects on alcohol consumption. Findings also concur with the potential roles of assortive mating / marital homophily: having a drinking spouse increased alcohol consumption.


aging; a semi-parametric mixture modeling; marital transition; alcohol use.

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