Marital stability, satisfaction and well-being in old age: Variability and continuity in long-term continuously married older persons
|Title||Marital stability, satisfaction and well-being in old age: Variability and continuity in long-term continuously married older persons|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2017|
|Authors||Margelisch, K, Schneewind, K, Violette, J, Perrig-Chiello, P|
|Journal||Aging and Mental Health|
|Keywords||marital satisfaction, marital stability, marital status, old age, well-being|
Objectives: Recent research shows that the well-documented positive effects of marital stability on well-being and health outcomes are conditional upon the quality of marriage. To date few studies have explored the relationship between marital satisfaction, well-being and health among very long-term married individuals. This study aims at identifying groups of long-term married persons with respect to marital satisfaction and comparing them longitudinally concerning their well-being outcomes, marital stressors, personality and socio-demographic variables.
Method: Data are derived from a survey (data collection 2012 and 2014) with 374 continuously married individuals at wave 1 (mean age: 74.2 years, length of marriage: 49.2 years) and 252 at wave 2. Cluster analyses were performed comparing the clusters with regard to various well-being outcomes. The predictive power of cluster affiliation and various predictors at wave 1 on well-being outcomes at wave 2 was tested using regression analyses.
Results: Two groups were identified, one happily the other unhappily married, with the happily married scoring higher on all well-being and health outcomes. Regression analyses revealed that group affiliation at wave 1 was not any longer predictive of health, emotional loneliness and hopelessness two years later, when taking into account socio-demographic variables, psychological resilience and marital strain, whereas it remained an important predictor of life satisfaction and social loneliness.
Conclusion: Marital satisfaction is associated with health and well-being in older couples over time, whereas psychological resilience and marital strain are major predictors explaining the variance of these outcomes.