Divorce and the wellbeing of older Australians

Gray, Matthew, de Vaus, David, Qu, Lixia and Stanton, David (2011) Divorce and the wellbeing of older Australians. Ageing and Society, 31 03: 475-498. doi:10.1017/S0144686X10001017

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Author Gray, Matthew
de Vaus, David
Qu, Lixia
Stanton, David
Title Divorce and the wellbeing of older Australians
Journal name Ageing and Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0144-686X
1469-1779
Publication date 2011
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S0144686X10001017
Open Access Status
Volume 31
Issue 03
Start page 475
End page 498
Total pages 24
Editor Kalyani K. Mehta
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract In virtually all Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries the number of older people who have experienced divorce at some point in their lives will increase in coming decades. While there is an extensive literature that analyses the effects of divorce on wellbeing, there is relatively little research on the long-run effects of divorce in later life. This paper uses Australian data to estimate the long-run impacts of divorce on the wellbeing of older Australians. Dimensions of wellbeing examined are social interaction and connectedness, perceived social support, life satisfaction, and physical and mental health. The paper shows that divorce has a long-lasting, negative impact on wellbeing that persists into later life for both men and women. However, the negative effects of divorce on wellbeing are largely confined to those who do not re-partner. An important difference between men and women is that for women who are divorced and remain single, the negative effects of divorce are found for general health, vitality and mental health. Furthermore, these effects are reasonably large. For older men, there appear to be no long-term effects of divorce on physical or mental health. While there appears to be some effect of divorce on perceived social support for both older men and women, the effects of divorce on social support are less pervasive in later life than the effects of divorce on satisfaction with life and, for women, health.
Keyword Older people
Divorce
Wellbeing
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 26 November 2010. Journal issue: Methodologies for Ageing Populations.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Publications
Official 2012 Collection
 
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Created: Wed, 16 Mar 2011, 16:00:16 EST by Cheryl Byrnes on behalf of Faculty of Social & Behavioural Sciences