Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Marriage Fam. 2014 Oct 1;76(5):930-948.

Happy Marriage, Happy Life? Marital Quality and Subjective Well-Being in Later Life.

Author information

1
Department of Sociology and Institute for Health, Health Care Policy & Aging Research, Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey, 26 Nichol Ave., New Brunswick, NJ 08901 ( carrds@rutgers.edu ).
2
Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, 426 Thompson St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104.
3
Jennifer Cornman Consulting, 113 Chapin Pl., Granville, OH 43023.
4
Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, 3620 S. McClintock Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90089-1061.

Abstract

The authors examined associations between marital quality and both general life satisfaction and experienced (momentary) well-being among older husbands and wives, the relative importance of own versus spouse's marital appraisals for well-being, and the extent to which the association between own marital appraisals and well-being is moderated by spouse's appraisals. Data are from the 2009 Disability and Use of Time daily diary supplement to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (N = 722). One's own marital satisfaction is a sizable and significant correlate of life satisfaction and momentary happiness; associations do not differ significantly by gender. The authors did not find a significant association between spouse's marital appraisals and own well-being. However, the association between husband's marital quality and life satisfaction is buoyed when his wife also reports a happy marriage, yet flattened when his wife reports low marital quality. Implications for understanding marital dynamics and well-being in later life are discussed.

KEYWORDS:

actor–partner independence models; daily diary methods; experienced well-being; gender differences; happiness; life satisfaction; marital quality; older adults

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center