Marriage and subjective well-being in Ghana

Type Journal Article - African Review of Economics and Finance
Title Marriage and subjective well-being in Ghana
Volume 7
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers 53-79
This study uses individual-level data from the 2005–2008 Ghana World Values
Survey (n=1 533), to explore the extent to which marriage is associated with
subjective well-being (SWB) in Ghana. The analyses are carried out at three
levels: the first part presents the distribution of well-being measures (happiness
and life satisfaction) among Ghanaians; the second uses the chi-square technique
to assess the relationship between marital status and well-being measures by
gender; the third probes the relative influence of marriage on happiness and life
satisfaction, paying attention to the moderating effect of gender (included as an
interaction term). The main finding is that marriage has a negative association
with subjective well-being among Ghanaians. The multivariate results confirm
that marriage undermines happiness and life satisfaction among Ghanaians.
However, the effect is only statistically significant on happiness. The marriage
and gender interaction term does not have a statistically significant effect
on either happiness or life satisfaction. In addition, upon introduction of the
interaction term into the happiness regression model, the significant negative effect of marriage on happiness changes to positive. An attempt is made to
explain these findings, paying attention to the economic and socio-cultural
context in which marriages occur in Ghana. Weaknesses, policy implications,
and future direction for research are discussed.

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