’Til Divorce Do Us Part: Marriage Dissolution in Later Life

Sarah L. Canham (Lead / Corresponding author), Atiya Mahmood, Sarah Stott, Judith Sixsmith, Norm O’Rourke

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Late-life divorce—commonly referred to as gray divorce—is a rising trend that parallels the growth of the older adult population. We sought to gain an in-depth understanding of the experience of marriage dissolution, the divorce process, and life following divorce in a sample of older adults who divorced after more than 20 years of marriage. Qualitative data were collected from 10 divorcees (7 women and 3 men; M age = 63.5) and analyzed to understand the gray divorce experience; that is, factors that determined or delayed the decision to divorce and divorcees’ coping during and after divorce. Participants’ stories demonstrate that marriages endure despite problems because relationships are complex, and good experiences mix with bad ones. Outcomes of late-life divorce have significant health and financial implications for both individuals and society.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)591-612
    Number of pages22
    JournalJournal of Divorce and Remarriage
    Volume55
    Issue number8
    Early online date4 Nov 2014
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2014

    Keywords

    • aging and relationships
    • late-life divorce
    • life course perspective
    • qualitative methods

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