The research, published in the journal Social Science Research, examined data from the Americans' Changing Lives Survey, a national study consisting of interviews with 3,617 adults in the US aged between 24 and 89 years at specific intervals over many years.
The survey covers a wide range of sociological, psychological, mental and physical health items. The researchers analyzed responses from never married, married and newly married adults.
"We looked at the interrelationships between marriage, income and depression, and what we found is that the benefit of marriage on depression is really for people with average or lower levels of income," said Ben Lennox Kail from Georgia State University. in the US.
"Specifically, people who are married and earning less than USD 60,000 a year in total household income experience fewer symptoms of depression. But above that, marriage is not associated with the same kind of reduction in symptoms of depression," Kail said.
This study, among only a few to investigate whether psychological well-being in marriage varies by socioeconomic status, supports a theory called the marital resource model, which suggests the health benefits of marriage include the pooling of resources, such as finances and social support.
"For people who are earning above USD 60,000, they don't get this bump because they already have enough resources," Kail said.
"About 50 percent of the benefit these households earning less than USD 60,000 per year get from marriage is an increased sense of financial security and self-efficacy, which is probably from the pooling of resources," he said.
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