Linked Lives: Dyadic Associations of Mastery Beliefs With Health (Behavior) and Health (Behavior) Change Among Older Partners.

TitleLinked Lives: Dyadic Associations of Mastery Beliefs With Health (Behavior) and Health (Behavior) Change Among Older Partners.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsDrewelies, J, Chopik, WJ, Hoppmann, CA, Smith, J, Gerstorf, D
JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Date Published2018 06 14
ISSN Number1758-5368
KeywordsAged, Aged, 80 and over, Dominance-Subordination, Female, Health Behavior, Health Status, Humans, Male, Marriage, Middle Aged, Models, Theoretical, Psychological Tests, Risk Reduction Behavior, Surveys and Questionnaires

Objectives: Mastery beliefs are known to contribute to healthy aging. However, it is an open question whether individual mastery-health associations impact the health of close long-term partners.

Method: We applied actor-partner interdependence models to 4-wave, 6-year longitudinal dyadic data from married and cohabitating partners in the Health and Retirement Study (N = 1,981 partners; age at baseline: M = 67 years, SD = 8.93, range 50-94 years).

Results: Higher individual mastery beliefs were associated with better individual physical health and health behaviors. Higher mastery beliefs were associated with subsequent increases in light physical activity. Having a partner with higher levels of mastery was uniquely associated with fewer functional limitations, better self-rated health, and more physical activity. Actor × Partner interaction effects for functional limitations indicated multiplicative associations of actor and partner mastery with health. Of note, mastery-health associations for individuals and their partners were invariant across age, gender, education, employment status, perceived stress over one's own and partner's health, and cognition.

Discussion: Findings suggest that partner mastery beliefs matter for the health (behaviors) of older adults. We discuss possible mechanisms underlying partner interrelations in mastery and health, their age invariance, and consider implications arising from our results.

User Guide Notes

Alternate JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Citation Key8493
PubMed ID27229003
PubMed Central IDPMC6283305
Grant ListU01 AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States