The Physical Health-Marital Quality Link during the Aging Process: The Importance of Marital Roles as Mediators

Adena M. Galinsky, Johns Hopkins University
Linda Waite, University of Chicago

The goal of this study was to test a set of theory-based hypotheses about the factors linking poor health with marital quality in later life. The data used are from the 2005-2006 National Social Life Health and Aging Project (NSHAP), which surveyed a national probability sample of 3,005 community-dwelling men and women ages 57-85 in the United States . Our sample consists of the 88% of the 1,801 married respondents with complete data (N=1,585). We use a series of multiple regression models, separately for men and women, to test our hypotheses. We find support for our hypotheses that marital quality is a function of marital role taking and psychological distress and a mediation model was supported, but with differences by gender and by type of health, marital quality, and role.

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Presented in Session 74: Families and Well-Being among Older Adults