|Title||Linked Lives: Does Disability and Marital Quality Influence Risk of Marital Dissolution among Older Couples?|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2022|
|Authors||Latham-Mintus, K, Holcomb, J, Zervos, AP|
|Keywords||Disability, marital dissolution, Marital quality|
Using fourteen waves of data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a longitudinal panel survey with respondents in the United States, this research explores whether marital quality—as measured by reports of enjoyment of time together—influences risk of divorce or separation when either spouse acquires basic care disability. Discrete-time event history models with multiple competing events were estimated using multinomial logistic regression. Respondents were followed until they experienced the focal event (i.e., divorce or separation) or right-hand censoring (i.e., a competing event or were still married at the end of observation). Disability among wives was predictive of divorce/separation in the main effects model. Low levels of marital quality (i.e., enjoy time together) were associated with marital dissolution. An interaction between marital quality and disability yielded a significant association among couples where at least one spouse acquired basic care disability. For couples who acquired disability, those who reported low enjoyment were more likely to divorce/separate than those with high enjoyment; however, the group with the highest predicted probability were couples with low enjoyment, but no acquired disability.