Journal Article

DIVORCE, CURRENT MARITAL STATUS AND WELL-BEING IN AN ELDERLY POPULATION

WENDY SOLOMOU, MARTIN RICHARDS, FELICIA A. HUPPERT, CAROL BRAYNE and KEVIN MORGAN

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 12, issue 3, pages 323-344
Published in print December 1998 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online December 1998 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/lawfam/12.3.323
DIVORCE, CURRENT MARITAL STATUS AND WELL-BEING IN AN ELDERLY POPULATION

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Using a British sample of 2,041 individuals aged sixty-five and over, we describe the prevalence of divorce and remarriage in the sample and investigate housing, social integration, health and well-being in relation to earlier divorce and current marital status. The sample is confined to the relatively healthy section of the population living in the community and excludes those who are moderately to severely mentally and/or physically frail. Just over 9 per cent of the respondents had been divorced, of whom almost two-thirds had remarried. We found a clear association between experience of an earlier divorce and reduced likelihood of home-ownership for both men and women. There was no indication that the experience of divorce is associated with longterm effects on health in this relatively healthy section of the population. However, further investigation using samples fully representative of the elderly population is required to settle this issue. Divorce was associated with lower levels of social engagement and life satisfaction, but not for those people who were currently remarried. Relatively low percentages of men who had experienced divorce and had not married reported no lack of perceived social support. However, this association between an earlier divorce and perceived social support was not statistically significant. The group with the lowest level of perceived social support were men who had always remained single.

Keywords: Divorce; ageing; marital status; health; perceived social support; social engagement; life satisfaction

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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