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Family Matters No. 47 - June 1997

Marriage in the Third Age

Experiences and expectations of couples aged 50 to 70 years
Ilene Wolcott

Abstract

With the baby boomer population turning 50, and the population in general ageing, there is increasing interest in later life relationships. This article, based on data from the Australian Institute of Family Studies 1996 Later Life Families Study, explores aspects of marriage of people aged 50 - 70 years and examines dimensions of marital and life satisfaction, family relationships and responsibilities, and attitudes towards growing older. Issues discussed include: marital transitions in later life; marital satisfaction; happy and unhappy marital relationships; commitment; areas of disagreement and sources of pleasure; managing conflict; children; parents; friends and community; sharing roles; health status; finance; dimensions of marital satisfaction and dissatisfaction; and implications for services to later life couples.

 

 

With the baby boomer population turning 50, and the population in general ageing, there is increasing interest in later life relationships. This article, based on data from the Australian Institute of Family Studies 1996 Later Life Families Study, explores aspects of marriage of people aged 50 - 70 years and examines dimensions of marital and life satisfaction, family relationships and responsibilities, and attitudes towards growing older. Issues discussed include: marital transitions in later life; marital satisfaction; happy and unhappy marital relationships; commitment; areas of disagreement and sources of pleasure; managing conflict; children; parents; friends and community; sharing roles; health status; finance; dimensions of marital satisfaction and dissatisfaction; and implications for services to later life couples.

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