What's love got to do with it? Social functioning, perceived health, and daily happiness in married octogenarians

Psychol Aging. 2010 Jun;25(2):422-31. doi: 10.1037/a0019087.


This study examined day-to-day links between perceived health and happiness and between time spent with others and happiness in 47 older adult couples over an 8-day period. Marital satisfaction and time spent with others were explored as potential moderators of links between health and happiness. For both men and women, hierarchical linear modeling revealed daily links between more time spent with others and greater happiness. Daily links between time spent with one's partner and happiness were strongly moderated by marital satisfaction. For both men and women, marital satisfaction buffered day-to-day links between poorer perceived health and a decline in happiness, but time spent with others did not. This study provides support for the role of marital satisfaction in protecting older adults' happiness from daily fluctuations in perceived physical health and for the influence of social connections in promoting happiness in the lives of older adults. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over / psychology*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Happiness*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Love*
  • Male
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Social Adjustment*
  • Spouses / psychology*