Discrete Survival Time Constructions for Studying Marital Formation and Dissolution in Rural South Africa

Batidzirai, Jesca M., Manda, Samuel O. M., Mwambi, Henry G. and Tanser, Frank (2020) Discrete Survival Time Constructions for Studying Marital Formation and Dissolution in Rural South Africa. Frontiers in Psychology, 11 . ISSN 1664-1078

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00154

Discrete Survival Time Constructions for Studying Marital Formation and Dissolution in Rural South Africa
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Introduction: Marriage formation and dissolution are important life-course events which impact psychological well-being and health of adults and children experiencing the events. Family studies have usually concentrated on analyzing single transitions including Never Married to Married and Married to Divorced. This does not allow understanding and interrogation of dynamics of these life changing events and their effects on individuals and their families. The objective of this study was to assess determinants associated with transitions between and within marital states in South Africa.
Methods: The population-based data available for this study consists of over 55, 000 subjects representing over 340, 000 person-years exposure from the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It was collected from 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2016. Multilevel multinomial, binary and competing risks regression models were used to model marital state occupation, transitions between marital states as well as investigate determinants of marital dissolution, respectively.
Results: Between the years 2006 and 2007, a subject was more likely to be married than never married when compared to years 2004 − 2005. After 2007, subjects were less likely to be married than never married and the trend reduced over the years up to 2016 [with OR=0.86, CI=(0.78; 0.94), OR=0.71, CI=(0.64; 0.78), OR=0.60, CI=(0.54; 0.67), OR=0.50, CI=(0.44; 0.56), and OR = 0.43, CI = (0.38; 0.48)] for periods 2008 − 2009, 2010 − 2011, 2012 − 2013, 2014 − 2015, and 2016, respectively. In 2008 − 2009, subjects were more likely to experience a marital dissolution than in the period 2004 − 2005 and the trend slightly reduces from 2010 until 2013 [OR=24.49, CI=(5.53; 108.37)]. Raising age at first sexual debut was found to be inversely associated with a marital dissolution [OR = 0.97;CI = (0.95; 0.99)]. Highly educated subjects were more likely to stay in one marital state than those who never went to school [OR=6.43, CI=(4.89; 8.47), OR=18.86, CI=(1.14; 53.31), and OR=2.96, CI=(1.96; 4.46) for being married, separated and widowed, respectively, among subjects with tertiary education]. As the age at first marriage increased, subjects became less likely to experience a marital separation [OR = 0.06, CI = (0.00; 1.11), OR = 0.05, CI = (0.00; 0.91), and OR = 0.04, CI = (0.00; 0.76) for subjects who entered a first marriage at ages 18 − 22, 23 − 29, and 30 − 40, respectively].
Conclusion: The study found that marrying at later ages is associated with a lower rate of marital dissolution while more educated subjects tend to stay longer in one marital state. Sexual debut at later ages was associated with a lower likelihood of experiencing a marital dissolution. There could, however, be some factors that are not accounted for in the model that may lead to heterogeneity in these dynamics in our model specification which are captured by the random effects in the model. Nonetheless, we may postulate that existing programs that encourage delay in onset of sexual activity for HIV risk reduction for example, may also have a positive impact on lowering rates of marital dissolution, thus ultimately improving psychological and physical health.

Keywords:discrete time survival, multi-state models, multilevel models, competing risks, state transition
Divisions:College of Social Science
ID Code:41629
Deposited On:23 Jul 2020 09:48

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