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Diversity of intimacy forms and their importance for well-being in later life
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology.
Stockholms universitet.
2014 (English)In: The gerontologist, ISSN 0016-9013, E-ISSN 1758-5341, Vol. 54, no Suppl. 2, 195-195 p.Article in journal, Meeting abstract (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper focuses on different forms of intimacy in later life in late modern Sweden and their consequences for well-being. The results are based both on qualitative interviews with 28 Swedes (63–91 years), living in new relationships initiated after the age of 60 (marriage, cohabitation, LAT) or currently dating; and on a quantitative survey to 60–90 year old Swedes (n=1225; response rate 42%). The results show: A great diversity in relationship careers over the life course; a preference for LAT (70%) and cohabitation (26%) in new unions established 60+; strong support from adult children for parents’ new LAT (86%) and cohabitation (76%) relationships, but less support for marriage (50%); that new relationships are as important for life-satisfaction as long-lasting ones; after subjective health, a partner is the second most important explanation for life-satisfaction, more important than having children; LAT was the union form that added most to life-satisfaction for men while marriage was the only form that significantly added to the life-satisfaction of women. Results were the same for newly established relationships and older relationships. Results will be discussed in relation to the shift from marriage to divorce culture (Hackstaff), the transformation of intimacy (Giddens), potentials of the third age (Laslett), and gender socialization, but also in terms of how the results can be interpreted in a context of Swedish welfare-state supported individualism where a partner provides both autonomy in relation to adult children and social integration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 54, no Suppl. 2, 195-195 p.
Keyword [en]
intimacy, later life, 60+, well-being, relationships
National Category
Geriatrics Sociology
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-19077ISI: 000346337502097OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-19077DiVA: diva2:793327
Available from: 2015-03-06 Created: 2015-03-06 Last updated: 2016-01-27Bibliographically approved

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