Marital processes in old couples

Authors

  • Kristina Krstić Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad
  • Marija Zotović Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad
  • Ivana Mihić Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.19090/pp.2012.3.241-257

Keywords:

old age, the experience of love, ways of showing love, marital satisfaction

Abstract

Conducted research aimed to describe the processes in marriages of the elderly, which included experience of love and intimacy in the relationship, ways of showing love, and the relations of these variables to marital satisfaction. The study sample consisted of 75 old couples in which the women were aged 55-77 and men 55-89. Average duration of marriage within the sample was 39 years, and most, about 91% of couples had adult children who lived independently of them. Respondents assessed satisfaction with their marital relations using a nine point scale, while information about the experience of love for both partners was obtained by the Love Scale (Love Scale; Braiker & Kelly, 1979). Ways of showing love were assessed by the Ways of showing love Scale ( Huić et al., 2010), measuring four expressive ('communal orientation/sacrifice', 'emotional openness and support', 'physical affection', 'verbal affection/ gifting') and two instrumental factors ('domestic instrumentality' and 'public instrumentality'). The results indicated a moderately high marital satisfaction and experience of love for both partners. Men showed higher satisfaction with marriage. Marital satisfaction in this life stage was related to the subjective experience of love. The dominant ways of showing love, for both partners, included domestic instrumentality, emotional openness and support, and communal orientation/sacrifice. All measured ways of showing love correlated with the experience of love and intimacy in a relationship, but their independent contributions to satisfaction with marriage was not observed.

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Published

30.09.2012

How to Cite

Krstić, K., Zotović, M., & Mihić, I. (2012). Marital processes in old couples. Primenjena Psihologija, 5(3), 241–257. https://doi.org/10.19090/pp.2012.3.241-257

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