Chapter 9 Relationships

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18 Apr 2012
Department
Course
PSYC 357: ADULTHOOD AND AGING
CHAPTER 9: RELATIONSHIPS
MARRIAGE AND INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS (p. 190)
- Marriage – legally sanctioned union between a man and a woman
- 9-15% reduction in mortality risk for married men and women
COHABITATION (p. 193)
- 50-60% of all marriages are now preceded by cohabitation
- Cohabitation effect – greater likelihood for a married couple to break up if they cohabitate before
they get engaged
oExperience greater unhappiness during the period which they live under the same roof
after their marriage
- Also a rise of cohabitating couples with children
SAME-SEX COUPLES (p. 194)
- Compared with heterosexual couples, the dynamic with same-sex couples is the same
oExcept that same-sex couples share more of the household tasks
DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE (p. 195)
- Approximately 10% off the US adult population is divorced
- Average length prior to divorce is 8 years
- Black women between the ages of 25-44 have higher divorce rates than Hispanic or White
women
- The older a woman is when she marries, the lower probability that she will be divorced
- Divorce proneness – people who are more likely to contemplate divorce when their marriage is in
trouble
oMay have a long history of difficulties in the area of intimacy
- Mediation is increasingly being seen as an effective means of reducing conflict andhence
improving children’s adjustment
WIDOWHOOD (p. 196)
- Widowhood Effect
oGreater probability of death in those who have become widowed compared to those who
are married
oMen seem particularly vulnerable to depression and death after the death of their wives
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PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ON LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIPS (p. 197)
Perspective How It Is Applied To Relationships
Socioemotional
Selectivity Theory
Older couples experience more positive affect with each other
Social Exchange
Theory
Relationships are evaluated according to costs and benefits
Attempts to predict the stability and dissolution of social relationships in
terms of rewards and costs of an interaction
Equity Theory Balance is sought between what each contributes to the relationship
Where cost-benefit analysis in the relationship specifically occurs when
evaluating the benefits that each partner brings to the relationship
Seems to apply particularly well to people in the early stages of the
relationship when couples are deciding whether or not to build future ties
with each other
Marital Similarity Couples who are similar are happier
Need
Complementarity
Couples who are different are happier
- Cohabitators were more likely to end the relationships characterized by low frequency of sexual
intercourse
- Behavioral approach to marital interactions – emphasizes the actual behavior that partners engage
with each other during marital interactions as an influence on marital stability and quality
oPeople will be more satisfied in a long-term relationship when their partners engage in
positive and rewarding behaviors
- Similarity hypothesis has better evidence supporting it rather than need complementary
hypothesis
FAMILIES (p. 201)
FAMILY LIVING SITUATIONS (p. 201)
- Households with married couples constitute 53.6% of all households
- Blended families – also known as “reconstituted families”
oWhere at least one adult is living with a child who is not the biological child of that adult
oEvidence suggests that these relationships are more stressful in the case of mothers and
stepchildren rather than fathers and stepchildren
THE TRANSITION INTO PARENTHOOD (p. 201)
- When the first child is born, there are changes
oBiological changes – when the mother bears the child
oPsychological changes – emotional highs and lows associated with first-time parenthood
for both parents
oThe individual’s identity begins to incorporate the concept of being a parent
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