Is Being a Single Mom Bad for Your Health?

Health & Wellness on 06.06.11

 

Having a baby before you get married could set you on a path to poorer health in middle age, says a new study reported on MSNBC -- even if you get married after giving birth.

The study, which followed 4,000 women from 1979 until 2008, found that "Women who had their first child out of wedlock reported lower levels of health at age 40 than did those who were married when they had their first child," says the article, although scientists theorize that may be because of the "stress and financial strain that often accompany single parenthood."

Setting up the same study now, say researchers, could lead to very different results: 

 

Women who have children out of wedlock today may have different levels of income and family support  than the single moms of  decades ago, said William Avison, a sociologist at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, who was not involved with the study. The health effects seen in this study were probably largely a result of the single mothers' economic disadvantage, Avison said. If a large percentage of single mothers today had the family and financial support they needed to raise a child, then they might face fewer health problems.

 

More from MSNBC.

 

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