Gender Differences in Marital Happiness among Newly Married Individuals in India: Do the Demographic and Socioeconomic Factors Matter?

Kamalesh Kumar Patel , International Institute for Population Sciences, Deonar Mumbai-400088
Murali Dhar, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

Prior studies suggest that marital happiness in males is substantially higher than in females. However, little is known about the covariates explaining such excess of male-female marital happiness. The present study was conducted to assess the role of demographic and socioeconomic factors in explaining the male-female gap in marital happiness among newly married in both rural and urban areas of Varanasi district in Uttar Pradesh, India. Total 502 newly married individuals (251 males, 251 females) were interviewed for data collection from both rural (Sewapuri block, 252) and urban (Kashi Vidhyapeeth block, 250) areas. Standard and widely verified marital happiness scales were used to measure the marital happiness and social support. Fairlieā€˜s decomposition technique was used to know the contribution of different covariates in male-female gap in marital happiness. Result shows that relative inequality of happiness between male and female was high. About half of men were happier as compare to quarter of women. Ninety-three percent male-female gap in marital happiness was explained by the selected covariates in the study. Result also found that female respondents were less happy with all the selected covariates. The largest percentage of gender differences in marital happiness was found with family type (non-nuclear family, 12%), and social support (high social support, 56%). These were found statistically significant. Social-support may play a key role in the formulation of policies. In addition, the findings may provide useful clues to the social workers and counsellors associated with marital well-being. Keywords: Gender-differences, marital happiness, newly married individual, cross-sectional study, India

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 Presented in Session P2. Poster Session Ageing, Health and Mortality