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MARITAL SATISFACTION AND SELF-DECEPTION: RECONSTRUCTION OF RELATIONSHIP HISTORIES AMONG OLDER ADULTS

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The relationship among marital aggrandizement, satisfaction with life, and marital satisfaction is examined among an international sample of older adults (N = 400). Three distinct groupings are identified on the basis of cluster analysis. A minority of participants emerged as dissatisfied with life and marriage. This grouping (the distraught) holds realistic perceptions of their relationship history. The same is true for a larger grouping identified as the realistically content who appear satisfied with life and marriage. The largest grouping (Pollyannas) also appears highly satisfied with life and marriage. Of note, these participants also engage in selective recall negating the occurrence of negative events and perceptions of their spouse and marriage. Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) suggests that Pollyannas convey a tendency for self-deception that distinguishes them from the other two groupings. These results are discussed in terms of demographic trends and directions for future research.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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