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Marital Quality Over the Life Course
Terri L. Orbuch, James S. House, Richard P. Mero and Pamela S. Webster
Social Psychology Quarterly
Vol. 59, No. 2 (Jun., 1996), pp. 162-171
Published by: American Sociological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2787050
Page Count: 10
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Much prior research in social psychology indicates that in many domains of social life, individuals' well-being improves in the latter half of the life course. The reason for this pattern is not well understood, however. We argue that objective changes in family composition and in social and economic conditions in middle and later life may explain the later-life increase in well-being. To test this argument we focus on one domain, marital well-being, examine the curvilinear relationship between marital duration and marital quality, with emphasis on the latter half of the marital life course. Our results show that reduced work and parental responsabilities in later life explain much of the later-life increase in marital satisfaction bu do not account for the decrease in thoughts of divorce. Longitudinal research is needed to confirm our results, which are necessarilty confined to cross-sectional data.
Social Psychology Quarterly © 1996 American Sociological Association