Women may give up more than a husband by divorcing — they may also lose some of their good health, according to a study by Iowa State University .
The study, spanning 10 years, focused on what happens to rural women's health after their marriage ends, compared with women who stay married, said Fred Lorenz, who co-authored the report.
The findings came from data gathered from rural Iowa women who were interviewed three times in the early 1990s, and again in 2001. All 416 women interviewed were the mothers of adolescent children when the study began. Among them, 102 women were recently divorced.
During the years immediately after divorce — from 1991 to 1994 — the divorced women reported 7 percent higher levels of psychological distress than married women. They did not report any differences in physical illness at that time.
A decade later, however, the divorced women reported 37 percent more physical illness, but no difference in psychological stress that could be directly linked to the divorce, said Lorenz, who co-authored the study with K.A.S. Wickrama, Rand Conger and Glen Elder. The research was conducted out of the Institute for Social and Behavioral Research based at Iowa State.
The women in the study marked off illnesses from a list of 46 choices — ranging from the common cold and sore throat to heart conditions and cancer.
Lorenz said it appears there is a link between the higher number of physical illnesses and the different stresses associated with divorce, including financial problems, demotions, layoffs and parenting problems. He added that divorced women, especially in rural areas, have poor job opportunities and fewer support systems.
Source: The AP
Prepared by Alexander Timoshik
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