Background: Depression represents one of the most common psychiatric disorders among older adults. Married couples are affected frequently, and psychiatric problems usually affect marital satisfaction. Despite the frequency of such relationships, it appears that very few studies have examined the issues that arise in couples of this type of marriage. Therefore, we investigate whether age differences between couples affect extent of depressive symptoms among older adults. Methods: Our analysis included 2,881 couples (i.e., 2,881 households) at least 45 years of age at baseline (2006), in addition to 3,033 couples in 2008, 2,772 couples in 2010, and 2,711 couples in 2012. A generalized linear mixed model was used for the data analysis. Results: When the age difference between husbands and wives was 3 years or less, the estimated severity of depressive symptoms was 0.309 higher (SE = 0.084, p = 0.000) than that of same-aged couples. When the age gap was 3 years or more, the estimated severity of depressive symptoms was 0.645 higher (SE = 0.109, p < .0001) than that of same-aged couples. For every 1-2 years extra in age difference between wives and husbands, the estimated severity of depressive symptoms increased by 0.194 (SE = 0.082, p = 0.018), compared with same-aged couples. Conclusions: Age differences between husbands and wives impact their relationship, including any particular marital issues encountered.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)