Factors Affecting Sexual Function in Midlife Women: Results from the Midlife Women's Health Study.
J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2017 Sep;26(9):923-932
Authors: Smith RL, Gallicchio L, Flaws JA
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to estimate the importance of risk factors affecting sexual function in sexually active midlife women.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cohort of 780 women undergoing the menopausal transition was surveyed each year for up to 7 years. Data were collected from sexually active women on sexual function, including frequencies of enjoyment, arousal, orgasm, passion for partner, satisfaction with partner, pain, lack of lubrication, fantasizing, and sexual activity. Data were also collected on a large number of potential risk factors for sexual dysfunction, including behaviors (smoking and alcohol use), health status (overall and frequency of different disorders), and demographic information (race, education, income, etc.). Height and weight were measured at an annual clinic visit; serum hormone concentrations were assayed using blood samples donated annually. Data on individual outcomes were examined with ordinal logistic regression models using individual as a random effect. An overall sexual function score was constructed from individual outcome responses, and this score was examined with linear regression. All factors with univariate associations of p < 0.1 were considered in multivariate model building with stepwise addition.
RESULTS: A total of 1,927 women-years were included in the analysis. Women with much more physical work than average had higher sexual function scores and higher rates of enjoyment, passion, and satisfaction. Higher family income was associated with lower sexual function score and more frequent dry sex. Married women had significantly lower sexual function scores, as did those with frequent irritability or vaginal dryness. A higher step on the Ladder of Life was associated with a higher sexual function score and higher frequency of sexual activity.
CONCLUSIONS: The factors associated with sexual outcome in menopausal women are complex and vary depending on the sexual outcome.
PMID: 28437219 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
The partner in late-life repartnering: caregiving expectations from an intergenerational perspective.
Int Psychogeriatr. 2016 Sep;28(9):1555-65
Authors: Koren C, Simhi S, Lipman-Schiby S, Fogel S
BACKGROUND: Late-life repartnering among functionally independent adults, resulting in complex stepfamilies, has emerged with increased life expectancy, and is likely to develop further. It is perceived as a chance for renewal and autonomy, enabling a release from dependency on offspring, whereas caregiving is associated with dependency and becoming a burden on family members. Thus, the experiences of late-life repartnering and caregiving are opposites. Using a life course perspective, we explore partner caregiving expectations in late-life repartnering from the viewpoints of three generations in complex stepfamilies in Israel, a society characterized by collectivist alongside individualist familial norms.
METHODS: Using criterion sampling, we recruited 19 stepfamily units (38 families) of functionally independent persons who repartnered at the official retirement age or older and had offspring from a lifelong marriage that ended in widowhood or divorce. One-hundred-seven semi-structured qualitative interviews with older partners, their adult children, and grandchildren were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Analysis was based on grounded theory principles and dyadic analysis adapted to families.
RESULTS: Two themes emerged: caregiving commitment and decision making. Issues included: influences of partner-caregiving history; chronic versus temporary caregiving situations; caregiving strengthening partner relationships and influencing stepfamily relationships, and moral dilemmas, such as what happens when fun - a motive for repartnering - is no longer possible. Could abandonment become an option?
CONCLUSIONS: From a life course perspective, caregiving, as "on-time," and late-life repartnering, as "off-time," highlight the lack of norms and the need to establish normative behavior for caregiving in late-life repartnering in diverse cultural contexts along with its reservations.
PMID: 26961865 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Two-Wave Dyadic Analysis of Marital Quality and Loneliness in Later Life: Results From the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing.
Res Aging. 2017 Jun;39(5):635-656
Authors: Stokes JE
This study examines dyadic reports of marital quality and loneliness over a two-year period among 932 older married couples resident in Ireland. Data from the first two waves of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (2009-2013) were analyzed to determine whether husbands' and wives' marital quality and loneliness at baseline predicted both spouses' loneliness 2 years later. Two-wave lagged models tested the cognitive perspective on loneliness, the induction hypothesis, and actor-partner interdependence. Results indicated that perceptions of negative marital quality at baseline were related with greater loneliness 2 years later, supporting the cognitive perspective. Further, both spouses' reports of loneliness at baseline were related with loneliness 2 years later, supporting the induction hypothesis. Partners' reports of marital quality were not related with future loneliness, failing to support actor-partner interdependence. I discuss the implications of these findings for theory, practice, and future research concerning intimate relationships and loneliness in later life.
PMID: 26733494 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]