Social Well-Being And Health Of Men As Component Of Family Capital

Abstract

This paper examines issues related to characteristics of marital-partner behavior of men. The study was conducted based on the evidence that we obtained from a survey of men aged 18 to 49. The study identifies homogeneous groups of individuals according to marital status. The marital-partner status of respondents is revealed through indicators that determine the marital state and nature of marital-partnership. In analyzing the data, the demographic structure of respondent families was under investigation; marital-partner relations of respondents; the presence of children in a family; etc. The demographic structure of the respondents' families was determined through the indicators of a family size, household members living with a respondent, family composition depicting a degree of affinity with a respondent. Marital-partner relations of respondents included the data about 1) if a respondent has a permanent (female) partner, 2) if he co-lives (shares accommodation) with a partner, 3) relationships with a partner, and others. For quantitative assessment of social well-being and health state of respondents, we derived an index of social well-being and health state. Three levels of social well-being and health state of men's were identified. The analysis of marital-partner relations among the married group of people shows that this group is heterogeneous and needs to be divided and represented by several groups. The analysis of the survey data showed that the factor of respondents co-living or sharing one accommodation with a partner also affects the level of social well-being and health of those men who are married.

Keywords: Familymarriagesocial well-beinghealth

Introduction

In the Russian and world scientific literature, many publications and research have appeared which discuss the issues about transformations happening in marital and family relations, the creation of new forms of unions between men and women that can be alternative to official marriage (Rimashevskaya, 2001; Vovk, 2005a, 2005b ; Golod, 1996; Eliseeva & Klupt, 2016; Zakharov, 2015, 2007; Zvereva, 2015; Sinelnikov, 2010; Klinenberg, 2012; Lesthaeghe & Surkyn, 2004; Van de Kaa DJ, 2010). Among Russian scientists there are different, sometimes opposing, positions that go beyond the scope of scientific discussion and courage to step up to the arena of political discourse struggle that is reflected in the social policy in general, where the latter has many contradictions (Sinelnikov, 2016, 2018; Papa, 2012).

Along with the previously used categories of marital status, such as: never married, married, divorced, widowed – the term of “unregistered marriage” occurs, and was included in the 2002 census, which indicates that this phenomenon has become quite noticeable and popular in Russia.

To identify stable family relationships both formal (registered) and informal (unregistered) in the scientific literature researchers have started to use a new term “partnership” (Zakharov, 2006). For the first time in Russian practice, a partnership category was used in the RusGGS survey (three periods – 2004, 2007, 2011). Partners, as a rule, are those who have established stable relations, including sexual sphere. Moreover, the partnership does not imply co-living.

Problem Statement

Family well-being is a phenomenon that depends on many factors. Currently, the level of breaking relations and divorces in RF has been sufficiently high. The reasons are different: psychological, economic, social. In many relations the family happiness deeply depends on health state and social well-being of a man.

Research Questions

For the quantitative assessment of health and social well-being of men, an integral indicator was built up based on several, characterizing health and social well-being of the respondents. The values ​​of the integral index vary from 0 to 1. The larger the index values, the higher the level of health and social well-being of the respondents. Three levels of social well-being and men's health have been identified. The first level – indicator values ​​range from 0 to 0.5 – the level of poor social well-being and health state. The second level (from 0.5 to 0.75) is the level of unstable social well-being and health state, and the third level (from 0.775 to 1) is the level of sustainable good social well-being and health state.

Purpose of the Study

The goal of this study is to identify the interaction links between marital-partner behavior and social well-being and health state of men.

Research Methods

In the research we applied sociology methods (surveys), statistical method of cross-tabulation.

Findings

The study was conducted on the data obtained from the survey of men aged 18 to 49 years old (Russian-Swedish project “Joint actions for achieving gender equality”, 2015, project leader – N. Rymashevskaya). One of the objectives of this work is to identify the characteristics of marital and partner behavior of men. To this end, several problems are solved in the project framework. First, homogeneous groups of individuals are identified by marital partnership status. To accomplish the task, the statistical method ‘cross-tabulation method’ is used.

The marital partner status of the respondents is revealed through indicators identifying the nature of these relations. With the aim to identify their marital state, the respondents are offered to choose one of the options presented below:

  • married

  • widow

  • divorced

  • never married

If at the time of the survey a respondent was in a formal marriage and lived with his wife, he could choose the option ‘married’. If a respondent has not been officially married, but he believes that he is in partnership with a woman, regardless of whether or not they live together, he also notes the first option.

If a respondent is officially married, currently divorced, but legally remained as married, he is offered to choose only one option ‘married’ or ‘divorced’. If at the same time he has a partnership with a new woman, he could choose the option ‘marriage’, while meaning that this is a partnership with a new spouse, even if he does not live with her, or he could choose ‘divorced’, implying a destroyed marriage or partnership with ex-spouse/wife.

In accordance with the survey data, the following 4 types of the respondents were found to be homogeneous in terms of ‘marital status’:

  • respondents who are in marriage,

  • widows,

  • divorced,

  • never married.

A one-dimensional data analysis showed that among the sampling group the respondents who are married are 57.5%. Almost a third of the respondents were never married (28.0%), the proportion of ‘divorce’ is 13.7%, and widowers – 1.3%.

While analyzing the selected types of the respondents, the following points were under examination: a demographic structure of the respondents’ families; marital/partnership relation of the respondents; the presence of children; the attitude of the respondents towards violence against women; health and well-being of the respondents.

A demographic structure of the respondents' families was determined by indicators of a family size, household members living with a respondent, family composition reflecting a degree of affinity with a respondent. Marital and partnership relations of the respondents included the data about a permanent partner/spouse, co-living factor, relations nature with a partner, sexual behavior of a respondent, experience of partnerships. The description in sub-chapter “Children of the Respondent” included the data about own (bio) children and living together, support and assistance to the children under the age of 18 who live separately. When describing some of the individual cases, the respondents were asked about their attitude to violence against women, if any.

For the quantitative assessment of the respondents' well-being state, an integral indicator was derived, based on several indicators, characterizing a respondent’s health and his social well-being. The values ​​of the integral index vary from 0 to 1. The larger the index values, the higher the level of health and social well-being of the respondents. Three levels of social well-being and health state were identified. The first level – the indicator values ​​range from 0 to 0.5, identifies the poor level examined states. The second level is from 0.5 to 0.75 which identifies the unstable level of both states, and the third level is from 0.775 to 1, the sustainable and good level of two examined criteria.

Additionally, there has been conducted the analysis towards: frequency in alcohol and drug use, stresses and depressions occurrence and respondents’ resistance to them, and possibility of suicidal thoughts.

With the aim to identify diversity and some additional characteristics of marital-partner status of the respondents, we have chosen the indicator reflecting the nature and peculiarities of marital-partnership relations. In order to assess them we proposed to choose one of the following options that are most applicable to a respondent:

  • officially married to a woman and we are living together,

  • officially married but we are living separately,

  • we are living together but not officially married,

  • there is a partner but we are living separately,

  • there is no a permanent partner at present,

  • never had a permanent partner,

  • not have any partner, no interest towards women.

The indicator mostly targets at identification of two factors: of having a permanent spouse/partner and of living together with a partner (woman).

When using the statistical method (cross-tabulation), in the space of two features that determine the marital-partner status of individuals (marital status of the respondents and nature their relations), in each of the 4 types (targeted at marital status of the respondents), several homogeneous groups were identified. In the analysis of the groups we used a case-study method. Out of the total sample of the respondents (777 people), 4 types of the respondents are distinguished, of which the first type includes those who are married and the number of them amounts to 444 people.

This paper presents the results of the analysis targeted at the group the respondents of which are married. This is the largest part of the respondents among the 4 types, and its share is 57.1% of the total sample. Of the total number of the respondents who indicated that they are married, 5 groups are distinguished where the main distinguishing feature is the nature of relations, and specifically:

  • 1 group – respondents officially married and live with a wife together – 84.9% (376 people)

  • 2 group – respondents officially married but they do not live together with a wife – 1.6% (7 people).

  • 3 group – live together with a partner but not officially married – 11.3% (50 people)

  • 4 group – there is a partner but they do not live together – 2.3% (10 people)

  • 5 group – there is no a partner, no interest towards women – 0.2% (1 people)

Group 1 .

Of the ‘married’ respondents, the first group is the largest one (48.5%). All men of the first group are officially married and live together with a wife. The average age of the respondents is 37 years old, under the age of 37 – 50% of respondents, under the age of 30 – 19.1%.

Demographic structure of respondents’ families

All the respondents of the first group live together with their wife. They have common children who live with them – 260 respondents (69.1%). They live with their wife's children from another partner – 31 respondents (8%). The family composition can include a case when a couple lives together with parents (or one of them) of a husband or a wife.

The relations are described as ‘good’ by 96% of the respondents from this group; the category ‘poor’ and ‘not good’ has 4% of relations cases.

Thus, the level of remarriage or civil partnership of the respondents of the first group is quite high and amounts to more than 50%. Only 46% of the respondents had no experience of marriage or civil partnership before the current relationship.

Children

Of the total number of the respondents in the first group 82.7% (311 people) have own (bio) children. Of these 53.7% (167 people) have one child, 36.7% (114 people) – 2 children, 8.0% (25 people), 3 children, and 1, 6% (5 people) have 4 own children.

Health state and social well-being of the respondents

The calculated index of social well-being and health state of the first group respondents as a whole is high and amounts to 0.81.

The first group as a whole can be identified as a group with consistent well-being of the respondents. At the same time, there are cases with a low social well-being index, the share of which is 25.8%. Of these 7 respondents have the index of 0.25 to 0.45, which identifies that the respondents are in a zone of ​​persistent poor health, and 89 respondents (23.7%) have unstable health indicators and, in this case, the well-being index does not exceed 0.74. Thus, the health state of almost 25% of the first group respondents is not good (identified as unstable or poor).

During last month, prior to the survey, 75.5% of the respondents in the group did not experience or rarely experienced stress, 85.6% never or rarely experienced depression. Suicidal thoughts did not arise (95.5%). Lack (or rarely) of sexual desire was indicated by 85.3% of the respondents. Disability or chronic illness caused by an accident, injury or experiences of violence was indicated by 13.4% of the respondents.

13% of the respondents said that they use alcohol 2-3 times a week or more often than 4 times a week. At one time they drink a bottle of alcohol every week or almost every day – 12.1% of the respondents; never used drugs – 76.8% of the respondents.

Group 2 .

Further, from the aggregate of respondents of the first type, a group of respondents are distinguished, having an official wife, but not living with her ( group 2 ). The group is mainly represented by divorced men. Of these, only two respondents have new permanent partners, live with them for a long time, the respondents' wellbeing index is 0.85.

Thus, the highest level of social well-being (steadily good, 0.85) is observed among respondents who have a new permanent partner and live with her or are in a guest marriage with her. The remaining respondents of the group have a low level of well-being – persistently poor or unstable, with corresponding low levels of well-being index from 0.3 to 0.65.

Further, from the number of the first type respondents, we distinguish a group of the respondents who have an official wife, but they do not live together ( group 2 ). The group is mainly represented by divorced men. Of these only two respondents have new permanent partners and live with them for a long time; the respondents' well-being index is 0.85.

Thus, the highest level of social well-being (steadily good – 0.85) is observed among the respondents who have a new permanent partner and live together or are in ‘a guest marriage’ relations with her. The remaining respondents in the group have a low level of well-being – persistently poor or unstable, with corresponding low levels of well-being index from 0.3 to 0.65.

Group 3 ;

From the number of the first type respondents we distinguish a number of respondents who live with a woman in not registered marriage ( group 3 ). This relation can be characterized as non official or civil partnership (co-living).

Group 3 includes 50 respondents that amounts to 6,4% from the total number of the respondents. The age range of the respondents is from 22 till 48 years old. At the age of 30–48%; at the age of 30 till 40 there are 36% of the respondents. The average age of the group respondents is 32 years old.

Demographic structure of respondents’ families

In the demographic structure of Group 3, all cases are represented by ‘co-living with a permanent partner’. In addition, there were cases of living together with common children (14 respondents), one respondent lives with parents. A distinctive feature of the group is the high proportion of the respondents living with not their biological children; the number of them is 24%.

Children

About 50% of the respondents have own children. Of those 16 respondents (66,7%) have one child, 5 respondents have 2 children, 1 respondents – 3 children, and 2 respondents have 4 children. 14 respondents live together with their children, 11 of them have own children (biological) and 3 of them have children, where not all are biological. Up to current relations 54% used to have been married or live in civil partnership.

Health state and social well-being of the respondents

The well-being index of the respondents in Group 3 is relatively high and equals to 0.83. This allows concluding about stable well-being among men in this group. Nevertheless, there are some cases demonstrating unstable well-being (4 people). Alcohol is used more than 4 times a week by 8% of the respondents (4 people). One bottle of alcohol per week is typical to 24%, every day or almost every day – 2%; never used drugs – 68%; violence against women was indicated by 30% of the group respondents.

Group 4.

This group includes men who have a spouse/partner but they do not live together ( group 4 ).

The group consists of 10 respondents, aged from 23 till 30 – 6 people, from 31 till 37 лет – 4 people. In employment structure they are presented as ‘officially employed’ – 2 people, and ‘non-officially’ employed – 8 people.

Demographic structure of respondents’ families

In the demographic structure of Group 4, all cases are represented by ‘living alone’ or ‘living with parents or with other relatives’.

Children

The respondents do not have own children.

Marital-partner relations of respondents. Partnership experience

Of 10 people belonging to Group 4, 9 respondents said that they have a permanent partner. The relations are evaluated as ‘good’ or ‘very good’ have 8 people, and 1 person evaluates his relation s as ‘not very good’.

Group 5.

Ultimately, we consider Group 5 belonging to the first type. Group 5 represents the respondents who do not have any spouses or partner and any interest towards women ( group 5 ).

The group is introduced with 1 respondent aged 23, who lives alone in village place and who has Master’s Degree. Currently, he does not work but be in search for a job. He said that he does not have a permanent partner. He has two own children with who they live separately but have meetings with them 6-7 times a week and take most part of expenses on their living.

At the moment of youngest child birth the respondent was not employed. The respondent said that his wife/partner wanted to have a child, not he. They took care of the child together with his wife/partner. The child’s mother did not take a paternity leave because the respondent was unemployed at that moment. During pregnancy the respondent went to a doctor together with his wife. The main responsibility of his the respondent committed the family financial support. His cares were mainly in helping his wife, if needed. The respondent left open the question – if we are divorced, I will not be able to see a child.

At his relations with the partner, he never employed physical violence against his partner. He experiences stress rarely, depressions – sometimes. Alcohol and drugs he never used. The well-being index of the respondent is 0.7 that allows evaluating his well-being as unstable. The respondent described his marital status as ‘married’ but said that he does not have a permanent spouse.

When evaluating marital-partner relations, the respondent did not chose the options offered, as: ‘I have a wife but we do not live together’, ‘I have a partner but we do not live together’, I do not have a partner’. He stated that ‘he does not have a permanent partner at present and not have any interest towards women’. On the other hand, the respondent said that he is married. The respondent might have implied under ‘partner’ something non-permanent, occasional, not serious, as non-related to children birth and family. In other words, a wife (official or non-official) is not a partner for the respondent.

The respondent lives separately with his spouse for some reasons. A woman is likely to live with her parents and take care of children. The respondent visits them quite often. This case can be classified as ‘ non-official guest marriage ’.

The analysis on marital-partner relations of the respondents showed off that the respondents taken together, identifying themselves as ‘married’, are heterogeneous and can be introduced with some groups.

Among those who are married, there is pointed out a group where men are officially married and live together with a partner ( group 1 ). This group is the largest one. The factor indicating the presence of a permanent partner is true for all the respondents and the structure of relations is described with the cases of official marriage with co-living.

Next group is the respondents who are married but live separately with a partner/wife ( group 2 ). This group is represented with those who are divorced but the fact of an official marriage make men respond that they are married. This excludes the possibility for these men to join the respondents with the option ‘divorced’ (type 4). Apparently, the fact of ex-marriage for some reasons is significant for these respondents. And the second assumption – the respondent did not mean marriage with an ex-partner, but meant a civil partnership with a new one. In this case the respondents also could choose the option “married’. Taking into account the above, 4 subgroups are pointed out in the structure of marital-partner relations of this group: the respondents who have a new permanent partner and live with her for a long time (non-official marriage with living together); the respondents who have a new permanent partner without living together (non-official ‘guest marriage’); the respondents who are officially married and for the reasons beyond their control and not dependent on them, they live separately, but at the same time they are not divorced (guest official marriage); the respondents who consider their wife, with whom they are divorced, still to be a permanent partner, despite the live separately. These relations are described as ‘poor’ but the fact that they have common children forces them to classify the relations as ‘in marriage’ (guest official marriage in a crisis state).

In group 2, the highest level of social well-being is observed among the respondents living with a permanent partner. The respondents, who are divorced and do not have regular partners, have a low level of well-being and health state – sustainable poor or unstable. This is the evidence to state that after divorce, the respondents feel unstable, except cases of long co-living with a new partner (7 years or more).

In sum the respondents, who are married, can be classified into one more group – who live with a partner in civil marriage (not registered) – group 3 . In this group only one sample of relations is observed – co-living with a woman without official marriage.

Further, the respondents are split again into one more group – who have a partner but they do not live together ( group 4 ). The respondents consider the partner as permanent. All these facilitate us to classify the relations as non-official marriage or guest marriage. Thus, the structure of relations introduced in this group is guest non-official marriage .

Conclusion

The survey analysis towards men aged 18 to 49 has shown off that the factor of co-living with a partner, for married men, influences positively their level of health and well-being and described as sustainable good. The level is higher compared to the target group who do not have co-housing with a partner.

The level of health state and well-being of men who are married but do not have co-living with a partner or not have interest towards women is poor and their well-being indicator is unstable.

The research has revealed a high rate in remarriage or civil partnership with official marital status: 54% of the respondents experienced in family life with married status before current relations. This fact witnesses about a high risk rate of divorces.

Acknowledgments

Study was conducted within the Government Task “Institutes and Social Inequality in Global Challenges and Regional Limits”, No. 0218-2019-0090

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21 January 2020

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Belaya*, R., Morozova, T., Kozyreva, G., & Morozov, A. (2020). Social Well-Being And Health Of Men As Component Of Family Capital. In D. Karim-Sultanovich Bataev, S. Aidievich Gapurov, A. Dogievich Osmaev, V. Khumaidovich Akaev, L. Musaevna Idigova, M. Rukmanovich Ovhadov, A. Ruslanovich Salgiriev, & M. Muslamovna Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 76. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 317-326). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.12.04.44