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A Dyadic Examination of Daily Health Symptoms and Emotional Well-Being in Late-Life Couples*

Authors


  • *

    This research was supported in part by a training grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, T32 MH18904-18, Research Training in Mental Health and Aging; by a grant from the National Institute on Aging (R01-AG18436) to Dan Mroczek; and by the Clinical Science Research and Development Service of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA Normative Aging Study is supported by the Cooperative Studies Program/ERIC, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This study is a research component of the Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center (MAVERIC). The authors thank Amy Howerter, Joyce Serido, and Matt Strobl for their assistance with data collection.

**Jeremy B. Yorgason is an Assistant Professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 (jeremy_yorgason@byu.edu).

David Almeida is an Associate Professor at the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, 105 White Building, University Park, PA 16802 (dma18@psu.edu).

Shevaun D. Neupert is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology, North Carolina State University, P.O. Box 7650, Raleigh, NC 27695-7650 (shevaun_neupert@ncsu.edu).

Avron Spiro III, Senior Research Scientist, Normative Aging Study, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA, and Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, 150 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130 (aspiro3@bu.edu).

Lesa Hoffman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 238 Burnett Hall, Lincoln, NE 68588 (lhoffman@unlnotes.unl.edu).

Abstract

Abstract: This study investigated the link between daily health symptoms and spousal emotional well-being in a sample of 96 older dyads. Higher negative mood and lower positive mood were associated with spousal symptoms in couples wherein husbands or wives reported higher average levels of symptoms. For wives, partner effects were moderated by husbands’ marital satisfaction and illness severity. Specifically, higher husband marital satisfaction and illness severity were associated with higher negative mood and lower positive mood for wives on days where husbands reported higher symptom levels. In their work with later-life families, practitioners and educators should address long-term and daily health-related relationship stressors.

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