Toward an Understanding of Gender Differences in the Impact of Marital Conflict on Health

Toward an Understanding of Gender Differences in the Impact of Marital Conflict on Health The present paper addresses the consistent finding that men derive more benefit from marriage in terms of both morbidity and mortality compared to women in U. S. society. Based on the evidence that spousal conflict adversely influences physiology and health, with greater negative impact on wives compared to husbands, we propose that the stronger impact of relationship negativity contributes to the decreased marriage benefit for women. Evidence bearing on two explanations for this differential impact of conflict is reviewed. The relational-interdependence view, proposed by Kiecolt-Glaser and Newton (2001), holds that women are more affected by marital conflict because of their more relationally interdependent self-representations. An alternative view, which we call the subordination-reactivity hypothesis, suggests that women experience greater physiological and psychological reactivity to marital discord because they typically occupy subordinate (lower status and less powerful) positions relative to their husbands. A review of the evidence on the physiological effects of social status is combined with that of the relationship between gender and status, both within society at large and interpersonal relationships specifically, to support the subordination-reactivity hypothesis. Specifically, there is evidence that low social status negatively impacts health and that women generally occupy subordinate status. The relational-interdependence view is re-evaluated and its intersection with the subordination-reactivity hypothesis is explored. Finally, implications and future directions are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Toward an Understanding of Gender Differences in the Impact of Marital Conflict on Health

Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer_journal/toward-an-understanding-of-gender-differences-in-the-impact-of-marital-BRbzfwHV50
Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-011-9968-6
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The present paper addresses the consistent finding that men derive more benefit from marriage in terms of both morbidity and mortality compared to women in U. S. society. Based on the evidence that spousal conflict adversely influences physiology and health, with greater negative impact on wives compared to husbands, we propose that the stronger impact of relationship negativity contributes to the decreased marriage benefit for women. Evidence bearing on two explanations for this differential impact of conflict is reviewed. The relational-interdependence view, proposed by Kiecolt-Glaser and Newton (2001), holds that women are more affected by marital conflict because of their more relationally interdependent self-representations. An alternative view, which we call the subordination-reactivity hypothesis, suggests that women experience greater physiological and psychological reactivity to marital discord because they typically occupy subordinate (lower status and less powerful) positions relative to their husbands. A review of the evidence on the physiological effects of social status is combined with that of the relationship between gender and status, both within society at large and interpersonal relationships specifically, to support the subordination-reactivity hypothesis. Specifically, there is evidence that low social status negatively impacts health and that women generally occupy subordinate status. The relational-interdependence view is re-evaluated and its intersection with the subordination-reactivity hypothesis is explored. Finally, implications and future directions are discussed.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: May 12, 2011

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off