Relationship between Husband's Health Status and the Mental Health of Older Women

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Abstract

This study examines the association between husband's health and the mental health of community-dwelling White women 65 to 75 years of age and how the wife's health, socioeconomic and social resources, and marital quality affect this relationship. Husband's health strongly predicts wife's mental health; the negative impact of which is more pronounced when the wife has poor or declining health as well. Marital quality is a strong predictor of the wives' mental health. Analyses examining the independent and joint effects of marital quality and husband's health on wife's mental health indicate that the negative association of illness in a spouse on wife's mental state is, in part, a function of the impact husband's health has on marital intimacy and shared pursuits. Of the socioeconomic and social resources examined, only availability of close friends shows a substantial relationship to the wives' mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-337
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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