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J Gen Psychol. 1999 Apr;126(2):135-47.

Sociodemographic characteristics and drinking status as predictors of older women's health.

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Department of Psychology, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks 58202-8380, USA.


As part of a U.S. national survey of women's drinking and life experiences, the authors used responses from a subsample (n = 245) of women aged 55-90 years (M = 65.8 years) to examine the relationship of sociodemographic characteristics (income, marital status, and occupational status) and drinking status to several health outcomes (self-perceived general health, depression, sexual satisfaction, and sexual dysfunction). In all analyses, the authors controlled for respondent age. Results indicated that higher household income predicted greater lifetime and current sexual satisfaction with a partner as well as higher general health ratings. Women drinkers also reported better general health than did abstainers. An interaction between marital status (married or cohabitating vs. nonmarried) and employment status (employed vs. nonemployed) was a predictor of general health ratings. The authors found significant contrasts among the 4 groups when they controlled for age, income, and drinking status: (a) Among the employed respondents, the nonmarried women reported better general health than did the married women; and (b) among nonmarried respondents, the employed women reported better general health than did the nonemployed women.

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