Living arrangements and accidental and violent deaths in early adulthood

Hanna Remes, University of Helsinki
Pekka Martikainen, University of Helsinki
Tapani Valkonen, University of Helsinki

The mortality-lowering benefits of living in a union are well-known in the adult population, but the association between living arrangements and mortality among the young remains unclear. Using longitudinal register data with annual updates, this study examines the effect of current living arrangements on accidental and violent deaths in 1995-2004 among Finnish young adults aged 17–29 at death. A further aim is to assess the simultaneous effects of living arrangements and other factors such as parental socioeconomic position, current main economic activity, household income, and level of education that are likely to be associated with mortality in early adulthood. The results showed pronounced associations between living arrangements and accidental and violent deaths in each age group (17-19, 20-24, 25-29). The protective effect of partnership, whether marriage or cohabitation, was evident among both sexes in ages 20-29. Compared to living alone or with others, living at parental home with married parents was also clearly beneficial, but less so for young adults living in cohabiting- or one-parent families. The mortality rates for those living alone, or with others than a partner or parents, were especially high among men. After adjustment for socioeconomic factors, living alone or with others still carried clear excess risks for men, while among women the association was significant only in the oldest age group. The strongest risk factors for accidental and violent mortality that persisted after mutual adjustments for both men and women were nevertheless unemployment and low education.

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Presented in Session 51: External and smoking-related mortality