This study uses data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study to examine the association between transitioning to marriage and general health status or serious health problems among low-income men. Beginning with a sample of 3,631 unmarried fathers, the study observes the relationship between their transitions to marriage within 3 years after the birth of their child and their health status 5 years post birth. The authors also explore if unmarried fathers benefit from marrying mothers who have health insurance. Results indicate that transitions to marriage, and transitions to marriage with mothers who have health insurance, are associated with fewer serious health problems. The authors did not observe a significant relationship between transitioning to marriage and general health, likely because the sample comprised men who were young (average age was 26 years) and in very good health.

This study was published in the Journal of Family Issues. The citation follows.

Haldane, Eva C., Mincy, Ronald B., & Miller, Daniel, P. (2010). Racial disparities in men’s health and the transition to marriage among unmarried fathers. Journal of Family Issues, 31(9): 1183-1210.