This research was supported by the Institute for the Social Sciences at Cornell University and by a National Institute on Child Health and Human Development grant 1K01HD056238-01 to the first author, and by a National Institute on Aging grant 5F32AG026926-02 to the second author. We thank Frank D. Fincham, Scott M. Stanley, Elaine Wethington, and members of the Cornell University Institute for the Social Sciences Evolving Family Theme Project for helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper.
Marital Happiness and Psychological Well-Being Across the Life Course*
Article first published online: 31 MAR 2008
© 2008 by the National Council on Family Relations
Volume 57, Issue 2, pages 211–226, April 2008
How to Cite
Kamp Dush, C. M., Taylor, M. G. and Kroeger, R. A. (2008), Marital Happiness and Psychological Well-Being Across the Life Course. Family Relations, 57: 211–226. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3729.2008.00495.x
- Issue published online: 31 MAR 2008
- Article first published online: 31 MAR 2008
- latent class analysis;
- marital happiness;
- marital satisfaction;
Abstract: Using data from six waves of the Study of Marital Instability over the Life Course (N = 1,998), we conducted a latent class analysis to test for distinct marital happiness trajectories. We found three distinct marital happiness trajectories: low, middle, and high happiness. Initial levels of life happiness were strongly associated with membership in the marital happiness trajectories and with various demographic and attitude-related control variables. Using fixed effects regression with time-varying covariates, we also found that marital happiness trajectory membership was associated with subsequent changes in both life happiness and depressive symptoms. All respondents experienced a decrease in life happiness between Wave 1 and the end of their observed time in their marriage, but respondents in the high marital happiness trajectory experienced the smallest decline. Respondents in both the high and middle marital happiness trajectories also experienced a decline in depressive symptoms across time. Intervention and policy implications are discussed.