Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Xu et al find lower cognition at midlife for adults born during China's 1959-61 famine

UM's Wolfers on separating deep expertise from partisanship in analyses of economic condtions

Findings by Burgard, Kalousova, and Seefeldt on the mental health impact of job insecurity

More News

Highlights

Apply by Jan 8 for NIA-supported PSC post-doc fellowship, to begin Sept 1, 2018

On Giving Blue Day, help support the next generation through the PSC Alumni Grad Student Support Fund or ISR's Next Gen Fund

Bailey et al. find higher income among children whose parents had access to federal family planning programs in the 1960s and 70s

U-M's campus climate survey results discussed in CHE story

More Highlights

Next Brown Bag

Mon, Jan 22, 2018, noon: Narayan Sastry

Hongwei Xu photo

Developmental Idealism, Body Weight and Shape, and Marriage Entry in Transitional China

Publication Abstract

Xu, Hongwei. 2016. "Developmental Idealism, Body Weight and Shape, and Marriage Entry in Transitional China." Chinese Journal of Sociology, 2(2): 235-258.

New trends toward later and less marriages are emerging in post-reform China. Previous research has examined the changing individual-level socioeconomic and demographic characteristics shaping marriage entry in Chinese adults. Employing a cultural model known as developmental idealism, this study argues that a new worldview specifying an ideal body type has become popular in the West and that this new worldview has been exported to China. This new part of the developmental idealism package is likely stratified by gender, has a stronger impact on women than on men, and has likely penetrated urban areas more than rural areas. Drawing on the 1991–2009 longitudinal data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey, this study employs discrete-time logit models to estimate the relationships between various body types and the transition to first marriage in Chinese young adults aged 18 to 30 years. Body weight status and body shape are measured by body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio, respectively, and further divided into categories of underweight, normal, and obese. Regression results indicate that larger values of body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio were associated with delayed entry into first marriage in urban women, whereas being overweight or obese was associated with accelerated transition to first marriage in rural men. Not only were these associations statistically significant, but their strengths were substantively remarkable. Findings from this study suggest that both body weight and body shape have important implications for marital success, independent of individual-level socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, and contribute to evolving gender and rural–urban disparities, as China is undergoing a rapid nutrition transition.

DOI:10.1177/2057150X16638602 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC5125396. (Pub Med Central)

Country of focus: China.

Browse | Search : All Pubs