Change in Marital Satisfaction Following the Death of a Parent in Adulthood
Stokes, Jeffrey E. “Change in Marital Satisfaction Following the Death of a Parent in Adulthood”. MA, Boston College, 2013. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/3777.
I examine how preloss relationship quality with a deceased parent and pre- to post-loss change in relationship quality with a surviving parent influence adult children's marital satisfaction over time. I also test gender interactions. Analyses are based on married or cohabiting adults who experienced the death of a parent (N = 316), drawn from the Longitudinal Study of Generations (LSOG), a longitudinal study of three-plus-generation families from Southern California. Three-level multilevel modeling (MLM) techniques reveal that improved relationship quality with a surviving parent is related to improved marital satisfaction. High preloss relationship quality with a deceased mother is related to improved post-loss marital satisfaction only for sons. These results support theories of linked lives and role context, and suggest that sons who lose mothers are particularly vulnerable relationally and may be especially sensitive to perceived support from their wives.