Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Family Relations (December 2006), 55: 613-624. Copyright 2006, National Council on Family Relations and Blackwell Publishing. Used by permission.


This study investigated the link between daily health symptoms and spousal emotional well-being in a sample of 96 older dyads. Higher negative mood and lower positive mood were associated with spousal symptoms in couples wherein husbands or wives reported higher average levels of symptoms. For wives, partner effects were moderated by husbands’ marital satisfaction and illness severity. Specifically, higher husband marital satisfaction and illness severity were associated with higher negative mood and lower positive mood for wives on days where husbands reported higher symptom levels. In their work with later-life families, practitioners and educators should address long-term and daily health-related relationship stressors.