|How Do Marital Transitions Affect Self-Perceptions of Aging?
|Year of Publication
|Turner, SG, Witzel, DD, Stawski, RS, Hooker, K
|Research on Aging
|Divorce, Marriage, self-perceptions of aging, Widowhood
OBJECTIVES: We analyzed whether marital status and experiences of marital loss or gain were associated with self-perceptions of aging (SPA), a major psychosocial mechanism of healthy aging.
METHOD: We used data from 7028 participants of the Health and Retirement Study. Participants reported their marital status and their positive and negative SPA on two occasions 4 years apart. We ran general linear models to analyze differences in SPA between men and women who remained married, became divorced or widowed, or remarried following divorce or widowhood.
RESULTS: Participants who experienced marital loss had lower positive SPA than participants who remained marred. Participants who experienced marital gain had lower negative SPA than participants who remained married. None of the associations differed between men and women.
DISCUSSION: Results suggest that it may not be marital status itself, but rather the transition into or out of marriage, that impacts how people appraise their own aging.