The Role of Leisure Activities in the Relationship Between Marital Transition in Later Midlife and Psychological Well-Being Trajectories

Yi Han Hu, Ching Ju Chiu, Jen D. Wong, Dai Chan Lin, Linda A. Wray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the levels and rates of changes in psychological well-being for middle-aged adults of different statuses or marital transitions. The moderating effects of different leisure activities were also tested. Longitudinal data on 1,270 persons aged 50 to 65 years at baseline from the Taiwan longitudinal study on aging were analyzed. Adults who were stably unmarried or unpartnered reported worse mental health at baseline, but their psychological well-being improved over time. The trajectory of depressive symptoms fluctuated markedly in adults who became widowed during our observation period. Engagement in physical, cognitive, or social activities was significantly associated with participants’ psychological well-being. Participation in religious activities was significantly associated with life satisfaction and decreased depressive symptoms for those undergoing bereavement. Findings from this study suggest that social and physical activities, among the four selected leisure activities, have the greatest association between decreasing depressive symptoms and increasing life satisfaction, respectively. Religious activities, in particular, may improve psychological well-being in bereaved middle-aged and older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-346
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Volume86
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aging
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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