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Co-development of Couples' Life Satisfaction in Transition to Retirement:A Longitudinal Dyadic Perspective


Weber, Elisa; Hülür, Gizem (2020). Co-development of Couples' Life Satisfaction in Transition to Retirement:A Longitudinal Dyadic Perspective. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Retirement is one of the major life course transitions in old age. Evidence suggests that exiting work life is associated with notable changes in life satisfaction, which are heterogeneous across individuals. Effects of retirement transitions on life satisfaction have been understudied in couples. We examined change in life satisfaction with retirement for retirees and their spouses/partners, the extent to which change in life satisfaction was heterogeneous and correlated within couples, and associations with health status and social participation.

METHOD: We used data from the German Socio-Economic Panel obtained in the years 1984 to 2016 (n = 2,117 couples; 74% male retirees; age at retirement: M = 61 years, SD = 3 years, range = 55 to 70 years; 98% married or in a registered relationship). We examined health and social participation of retirees and their partners as predictor variables and controlled for age, gender, education, partner employment, household income, and region in Germany (former East vs. West). Data were analyzed with dyadic multilevel two-phase growth curve models.

RESULTS: On average, both retirees and partners reported increasing life satisfaction at retirement. Change in life satisfaction was heterogeneous across individuals and highly correlated within couples. Health and social participation were associated with levels of, but not change in life satisfaction with retirement in retirees and partners.

DISCUSSION: Retirement is not a uniform period of transition, but is shaped by the multidimensional context in which life unfolds. Moreover, life satisfaction can be shaped in response to life transitions experienced by close others.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Retirement is one of the major life course transitions in old age. Evidence suggests that exiting work life is associated with notable changes in life satisfaction, which are heterogeneous across individuals. Effects of retirement transitions on life satisfaction have been understudied in couples. We examined change in life satisfaction with retirement for retirees and their spouses/partners, the extent to which change in life satisfaction was heterogeneous and correlated within couples, and associations with health status and social participation.

METHOD: We used data from the German Socio-Economic Panel obtained in the years 1984 to 2016 (n = 2,117 couples; 74% male retirees; age at retirement: M = 61 years, SD = 3 years, range = 55 to 70 years; 98% married or in a registered relationship). We examined health and social participation of retirees and their partners as predictor variables and controlled for age, gender, education, partner employment, household income, and region in Germany (former East vs. West). Data were analyzed with dyadic multilevel two-phase growth curve models.

RESULTS: On average, both retirees and partners reported increasing life satisfaction at retirement. Change in life satisfaction was heterogeneous across individuals and highly correlated within couples. Health and social participation were associated with levels of, but not change in life satisfaction with retirement in retirees and partners.

DISCUSSION: Retirement is not a uniform period of transition, but is shaped by the multidimensional context in which life unfolds. Moreover, life satisfaction can be shaped in response to life transitions experienced by close others.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
08 Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:19 May 2020
Deposited On:11 Aug 2020 09:14
Last Modified:11 Aug 2020 09:14
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1079-5014
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbaa067
PubMed ID:32427339

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