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Families in Later Life Husband and Wife ◦ Demographic Profile in Families in Later Life ◦ The Empty Nest ◦ Marital Quality in Later Life ◦ New Family Roles.

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Presentation on theme: "Families in Later Life Husband and Wife ◦ Demographic Profile in Families in Later Life ◦ The Empty Nest ◦ Marital Quality in Later Life ◦ New Family Roles."— Presentation transcript:

1 Families in Later Life Husband and Wife ◦ Demographic Profile in Families in Later Life ◦ The Empty Nest ◦ Marital Quality in Later Life ◦ New Family Roles and Other Changes ◦ Sexuality in Later Life The Older Couple and Their Family ◦ Older Parents and Adult Children ◦ Older Parents and Grandchildren ◦ Older Parents and Siblings Family Disorganization in Later Life ◦ Widowhood ◦ Divorce

2 Family Life across the Life Course Middle Course: Diminished marital satisfaction at adolescence may be due to changes in patterns of husband-wife interaction, changes in the division of labor in the family and/or changes in individuals’ perceptions of marital quality. Because mothers relate to their children and adolescence is a time of withdrawal from that relationship, wives express more dissatisfaction with marriage than do husbands. During the middle course, the satisfaction measure of the wife predicts the satisfaction measure of the husband. In the Empty Nest period, husbands tend to relate more dissatisfaction with marriage than do wives. Decline in work and parental responsibilities explain a large portion of the increase in marital satisfaction as the couple ages. Longer marital duration is equated with increased marital quality. Source: Laurence Steinberg and Susan Silverberg; “Influences on Marital Satisfaction during the Middle Stages of the Family Life Cycle” and Orbach, et al, “Marital Quality Over the Life Course”

3 Study: Men's Sex Lives Better at 50 Than 30 Wednesday, February 22, 2006 By Miranda Hitti Men in their 50s are more satisfied with their sex lives than men in their 30s, a new study shows. Findings from the study, published in BJU International, include: ◦ --Men’s sexual function (sex drive, erection, ejaculation) tends to fade with age. ◦ --Men’s sexual satisfaction peaks when men are in their 20s. ◦ --Men in their 50s are a close second in sexual satisfaction. In short, men reported sexual satisfaction long after the heyday of their youth had passed. “Our results show that although men experience more problems and less sexual function as they get older, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they are less satisfied with their sex lives as a result,” says researcher Sophie Fossa, MD, PhD, in a news release. Fossa is a professor at Norway’s University of Oslo.

4 The men reported problems with sexual function. They also rated their sexual satisfaction. Here are the results for sexual satisfaction by decade, from most to least satisfied: 1.) Men in their 20s; 2.) Men in their 50s; 3.) Men in their 40s; 4.) Men in their 30s 5.) Men in their 60s 6.) Men in their 70s “The results showed a very strong correlation between men getting older and reduced sexual functioning, but not between age and sexual satisfaction,” Fossa says. By Miranda Hitti, reviewed by Louise Chang, MD SOURCES: Mykletun, A. BJU International, February 2006; vol 97: pp 316-323. News release, Wizard Communications.

5 Fossa and colleagues got their data from anonymous surveys taken by 1,185 men aged 20-79 in Norway. Here is some background information on those men: --Most (86 percent) were married or in an intimate relationship. --More than half (57 percent) reported being sexually active in the 30 days before the study. Few (6 percent) reported having a new sexual partner in the previous six months. --A quarter of the men were on medication to treat high blood pressure. --Five percent were taking diabetes medication. -- Six percent were taking antidepressants. -- Five percent were taking drugs to treat erectile dysfunction.

6 Proportion of Older Population, US 2005


8 Demographics of the Older Population: 2000-2003 Among the population 75 years and older, 67% of men were living with their spouses in 2003 compared with 29% of women in this same age group. By the time men and women are 85 years of age, more than 2 for every one is female. The percent of married couples declines with age. Among those 65 to 74 years of age, 2/3s were married but that decreases to less than 1/3 for those 85 and older. By age 84, over 40 percent of that population is widowed. By age 75, 45 percent of women are widowed as compared to 14 percent of men. 10 percent of the general population lives alone. However, 28 percent of the 65+ population lives alone.

9 Number of Men per 100 women by Age, for the 65+ population: 1990 and 2000 Age19902000 65 to 747882 75 to 846065 85 +3941



12 Widowhood: 2003 41.1 % of women 65+ were married. 71.2 % of men 65+ were married. For the 75+ age range, men were twice as likely to be married as women. For the 65+ age group, women are 3 times as likely as men to be widowed.

13 Grandparents and Children There are substantial increases in the number of children living in households maintained by their grandparents regardless of the presence of the grandchildren’s parents. In 1970, a little over 3 percent of all children under age 18 lived in a home maintained by their grandparents. By 1997 5.5 percent of all children under 18 lived in a household maintained by their grandparents. 63 percent of these grandparents in 1997 were widowed grandmothers. Grandparents maintaining homes for their grandchildren are younger, in better health, better educated and more likely to work outside of the home. Source: Ken Bryson and Lynne Casper, “Coresident Grandparents and Grandchildren.”


15 Negative Shock Experiences for the Elderly Over a 10-year period more than 3/4s of adults age 51 to 61 at baseline experience negative shocks including widowhood, divorce, job layoffs, health problems or the onset of frailty among parents or in-laws. ◦ 41.3 % experience major new medical conditions. ◦ 33.7% develop health-related work limitations. ◦ 18.7% are laid off from their jobs ◦ 9/8% of married adults become widowed, and only 3% become divorced. More than 2/3s of adults age 70 and older experience at least one negative shock over a nine-year period. ◦ 29% of single adults develop sever disabilities. ◦ 31.8% of single adults enter nursing homes. ◦ 29.1% of married adults become widowed, including 44.3% of women

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