Perceptions of marital togetherness and companionship: a study of older men's marital relationships

by C. L. Funk

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This paper reports the results of a study concerned with self-evaluations of marital quality among older men who, for the most part, have remained married for long periods. The primary purpose is to better understand how older men's feelings of being paired with their wives or being apart from their wives relate to how they spend their time. To this end, the study assesses men's perception of marital closeness in comparison with their reports of activities shared with their wives. In addition, it examines the relationship between perceptions of the marriage and perceptions of close friendships on one hand, and feelings of loneliness on the other. The findings indicate that older men's perceptions of marital togetherness are related to their behaviors in daily activities. In addition, those who see themselves as closer together with their wives are less likely to feel lonely.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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