Marriage, second couplehood, divorce and singlehood in old age

Liat Ayalon, Chaya Koren

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores marital status in old age. Specifically, we focus on marriage, second couplehood, divorce, and singlehood. It does not discuss widowhood, which is reviewed in a separate chapter in this book. This review discusses both change and continuity in marital status over time, and it adopts the life-course perspective of families over time. This approach argues that to understand continuity and change over time, one has to take into consideration three different time clocks of potential influence on the family dynamic. The first is the ontogenetic time, which can be equated roughly with one’s chronological age. Accordingly, the individual’s behavior within the family can be attributed partially to this individual’s chronological age as well as to the chronological ages of the other family members. The generational time refers to one’s generational position within the family and the roles and expectations associated with this particular generation. Finally, historical time or cohort effect refers to sociocultural macro influences that affect the family (Bengtson & Allen, 1993).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAPA handbook of clinical geropsychology
Subtitle of host publicationAssessment, treatment, and issues of later life.
EditorsPeter A Lichtenberg, Benjamin T Mast, Brian D Carpenter, Julie Ed Loebach Wetherell
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association Inc.
Number of pages28
VolumeVol. 2
ISBN (Print) 978-1-4338-1804
StatePublished - 2015


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