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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2009 Sep;64(5):586-96. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbp058. Epub 2009 Jul 16.

Individual well-being in middle and older adulthood: do spousal beliefs matter?

Author information

1
Centre for Mental Health Research, The Australian National University, Acton, ACT 0200, Australia. Tim.Windsor@anu.edu.au

Abstract

Associations between health, control beliefs, and well-being in later life are frequently conceptualized in terms of the characteristics of individuals. However, spousal interdependencies in psychosocial characteristics are also likely to be relevant for well-being. The present study investigated associations of self-rated health, control, and relationship closeness with life satisfaction and positive and negative affect in a sample of 2,235 spousal dyads. A significant proportion of variance in health, control, closeness, and well-being occurred between dyads. Individuals' self-rated health, control, and relationship closeness were associated with higher well-being. Spouses' self-rated health and control beliefs were consistently and positively associated with individuals' well-being; however, effect sizes were small. Some evidence for individual's control beliefs buffering the association between health and well-being emerged, whereas spouses' perceived control was not a significant moderator of the health-well-being association. Results highlight the importance of couple interdependencies for contextualizing health and well-being in older adulthood.

PMID:
19608855
PMCID:
PMC4303061
DOI:
10.1093/geronb/gbp058
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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