Individual well-being in middle and older adulthood: do spousal beliefs matter?

TitleIndividual well-being in middle and older adulthood: do spousal beliefs matter?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsWindsor, TD, Ryan, LH, Smith, J
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology, Series B
ISSN Number1758-5368
KeywordsAdult, Affect, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Aging, Attitude to Health, Culture, Female, Humans, Individuality, Internal-External Control, Male, Marriage, Middle Aged, Quality of Life, Spouses

Associations between health, control beliefs, and well-being in later life are frequently conceptualized in terms of the characteristics of individuals. However, spousal interdependencies in psychosocial characteristics are also likely to be relevant for well-being. The present study investigated associations of self-rated health, control, and relationship closeness with life satisfaction and positive and negative affect in a sample of 2,235 spousal dyads. A significant proportion of variance in health, control, closeness, and well-being occurred between dyads. Individuals' self-rated health, control, and relationship closeness were associated with higher well-being. Spouses' self-rated health and control beliefs were consistently and positively associated with individuals' well-being; however, effect sizes were small. Some evidence for individual's control beliefs buffering the association between health and well-being emerged, whereas spouses' perceived control was not a significant moderator of the health-well-being association. Results highlight the importance of couple interdependencies for contextualizing health and well-being in older adulthood.

Endnote Keywords

psycho-social/spousal care/SELF-RATED HEALTH/Couples

Endnote ID


Citation Key7421
PubMed ID19608855
PubMed Central IDPMC4303061
Grant ListU01 AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States