J Korean Med Sci.  2020 Sep;35(37):e319. 10.3346/jkms.2020.35.e319.

Impacts of Remaining Single above the Mean Marriage Age on Mental Disorders and Suicidality: a Nationwide Study in Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu, Korea
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, Inje University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 5Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 6Department of Psychiatry, Gachon University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea
  • 7Department of Psychiatry, Kangwon National University School of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea
  • 8Department of Psychiatry, Kangdong Sacred Heart Hospital, Seoul, Korea
  • 9Department of Psychiatry, Kyungpook National University Chilgok Hospital, Daegu, Korea

Abstract

Background
This study investigated the impact of getting older than the mean marriage age on mental disorders and suicidality among never-married people.
Methods
We performed an epidemiological survey, a nationwide study of mental disorders, in 2016. In this study, a multi-stage cluster sampling was adopted. The Korean version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview was conducted with 5,102 respondents aged 18 years or above. The associations between never-married status, mental disorders, and suicidality were explored according to whether the mean age of first marriage (men = 32.8 years; women = 30.1 years) had passed.
Results
Never-married status over the mean marriage age was associated with agoraphobia, obsessive–compulsive disorder, mood disorders, and major depressive disorder after adjusting for sociodemographic factors. Respondents with never-married status above the mean marriage age were associated with suicide attempts (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 3.21; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.36–7.60) after controlling for sociodemographic factors and lifetime prevalence of mental disorders, while respondents with never-married status under the mean marriage age were not. Moreover, in respondents with never-married status, getting older than the mean marriage age was associated with suicidal ideations (aOR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.04–2.15) and suicide attempts (aOR, 3.38; 95% CI, 1.46–7.84) after controlling for sociodemographic factors and lifetime prevalence of mental disorders.
Conclusion
Never-married status above the mean first marriage age was associated with mental disorders and suicidality. These findings suggest the need for a national strategy to develop an environment where people with never-married status do not suffer even if their marriage is delayed.

Keyword

Marriage; Single Person; Mental Disorders; Suicide; Cross-sectional Studies
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