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Maternal bereavement: The heightened mortality of mothers after the death of a child

Javier Espinosa () and William Evans

Economics & Human Biology, 2013, vol. 11, issue 3, 371-381

Abstract: Using a 9-year follow-up of 69,224 mothers aged 20–50 from the National Longitudinal Mortality Survey, we investigate whether there is heightened mortality of mothers after the death of a child. Results from Cox proportional hazard models indicate that the death of a child produces a statistically significant hazard ratio of 2.3. There is suggestive evidence that the heightened mortality is concentrated in the first two years after the death of a child. We find no difference in results based on mother's education or marital status, family size, the child's cause of death or the gender of the child.

Keywords: Bereavement; Mother mortality; Child death; Cox proportional hazard; National Longitudinal Mortality Study (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:11:y:2013:i:3:p:371-381