The Impact of New Intimate Relationships in Later Life on Life Satisfaction
2013 (English)Conference paper, Poster (Other academic)
Studies about intimacy in old age have mostly focused on institutionalized life-long marriages. Little research has focused on re-partnering in later life and the impact these relationships have on life satisfaction. Framed by Giddens’ Transformation of intimacy and Laslett’s Third age, as well as changing social and demographical conditions, this paper focuses on how different forms of new intimate relationships impact on life satisfaction in later life. Qualitative interviews were conducted with a strategic sample of 28 Swedes, 63–91 years, who were married, cohabiting and living apart together in new intimate heterosexual relationships initiated after the age of 60 or who were currently dating. The results showed the significance of new intimate relations the experience of life satisfaction in later life: The importance of being needed and confirmed by one’s partner, for intimacy and sexuality, for unloading children’s care responsibility, for sharing experiences in everyday life and for safety. The results also showed the importance of the partner as a resource for new experiences and a healthier life style. In conclusion, the results will be theorized in a time frame: First, in the light of new post (re)productive free time in the third age. Second, in the light of the finite remaining life-time. The results from the qualitative study will be contextualized by results from a representative survey on intimate relations among 3 000 60-90 year old Swedes (data collection has just finished).
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Research subject Sociology; Social Work
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-97861OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-97861DiVA: diva2:680829
GSAs 66th Annual Scientific Meeting
FunderRiksbankens Jubileumsfond, P11-0909:1Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, Dnr 2009-0720