Outcomes of post-spinal cord injury marriages

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1995 Feb;76(2):130-8. doi: 10.1016/s0003-9993(95)80022-0.


The purpose of this study was to compare the divorce rate among persons who got married after spinal cord injury with that of the non-spinal cord-injured population of comparable age and gender and to identify factors associated with increased likelihood of divorce. The study included 622 persons enrolled in the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center data set since 1973. These persons were followed between 1 and 15 years after their marriage (mean = 3.5 years). The status of each marriage was determined at the time of their most recent routine annual follow-up examination. Overall, 126 divorces occurred, whereas 74 were expected, based on 2,190 person-years of follow-up and age-sex-specific annual divorce rates for the United States population. Men and remarried persons had divorce rates 2.07 times and 1.80 times higher, respectively, than women and persons married for the first time. The divorce rate was 1.85 times higher among persons without college educations and was lower for persons with lumbosacral injuries than for persons with higher injury levels. In general, the impact of spinal cord injury appears to be almost as great on postinjury marriages as it is on preexisting marriages. However, this study yields descriptive rather than causal information. Other factors must be identified before a clinically useful model to predict persons at high risk for divorce can be developed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Black or African American
  • Divorce*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spinal Cord Injuries*