Partner discrepancies and age differences in marital quality: Distinguishing the ideal, expected, and perceived partner

Tianyuan LI, Helene H. FUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives. Previous studies have observed a rebound of marital quality in later adulthood. This study tested whether partner discrepancy was a mediator of the age differences in marital quality.
Method. The present study assessed partner discrepancies and marital quality in 56 couples, 20–79 years old. Two levels of partner standards (ideal and expected standards) and 2 domains of partner characteristics (personality and support) were examined.
Results. Husbands' partner discrepancies, but not wives', were found to mediate the curvilinear age differences in martial quality.
Discussion. Consistent with the life-span theory of control, the results suggest that adjusting cognition about the partner is essential to the typically higher marital quality in later adulthood. The results also suggest that the level of comparison standards and the specific domain of partner characteristics should be considered in future studies. Copyright © 2011 The Author.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-422
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume67
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

Citation

Li, T., & Fung, H. H. (2012). Partner discrepancies and age differences in marital quality: Distinguishing the ideal, expected, and perceived partner. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 67(4), 417-422. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbr119

Keywords

  • Age differences
  • Marital quality
  • Marital standards
  • Partner discrepancy
  • Personality
  • Support

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