Using data from a nationally representative sample of 723 married adults, this study explored the association of age differences between spouses at the time of marriage on various aspects of marital quality years into the marriage. Four groups (full sample, husband-older, wife-older, and same-age marriages) were compared to see how marital quality was affected by age difference and several other moderating variables. Spousal interactions increased among wife-older marriages, but not among the other groups. An increased level of husband participation in household labor was linked with an increase in marital happiness and a decrease in marital problems for wife-older marriages. It also was related to a decrease in marital happiness for husband-older marriages as well as a decrease in spousal interaction for all groups except wife-older marriages, which showed no significant association to the division of household labor. Finally, a more traditional approach to gender roles among the same-age marriages was associated with a decrease in marital problems and a decrease in spousal interaction.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life; Marriage, Family, and Human Development
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Wheeler, Brandan E., "Age Differences in Marriage: Exploring Predictors of Marital Quality in Husband-Older, Wife-Older, and Same-Age Marriages" (2010). All Theses and Dissertations. 2572.
Marriage, age difference, marital quality, marital happiness, spousal interaction, divorce proneness, marital problems, spousal disagreements