Title

Difficulties, Disagreements, and Disappointments in Late-Life Marriages

Keywords

marital satisfaction, late-life, marriage, relationship patterns

Abstract

Although research has examined marital satisfaction in later life, little is known about the specific relationship challenges that older couples experience. Thus, the objective of the study was to explore the challenges older couples face. Data came from the USC Longitudinal Study of Generations. Qualitative analysis was conducted on 105 older couples, with an average age of 69, who responded in 1997 to an open-ended question about difficulties, disagreements, and disappointments in their marriage. Ten themes emerged from the data. In order of frequency, they were leisure activities, intimacy, finances, no problems, personality, intergenerational relations, household concerns, personal habits, health issues, and work/retirement. Comparisons in responses were made for age, gender, marital quality, length of marriage, and health. In addition, the dyadic data were examined for patterns within the relationship.

Original Publication Citation

Henry, R. G., Miller, R. B., Giarrusso, R. (2005). Difficulties, disagreement, and disappointments in late-life marriages. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 61, 243-264.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2005-10-01

Publisher

The International Journal of Aging and Human Development

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Sociology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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