Aging Together: Self-Perceptions of Aging and Family Experiences among Korean Baby Boomer Couples

Yijung Kim, Kyungmin Kim, Kathrin Boerner, Gyounghae Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Korean baby boomers (born 1955-1963) comprise the largest segment of the population approaching old age in Korea, and the majority is married or partnered. However, little is known about how couples share subjective aging experiences and how their self-perceptions of aging are associated with family experiences in midlife. Research Design and Methods: We analyzed 727 couples from the Korean Baby Boomer Panel Study. Using Actor-Partner Interdependence Model, we investigated whether major health problems within a family and marital quality were associated with perceptions of aging and future time. Results: We found substantial within-couple similarity in self-perceptions of aging among Korean baby boomers. Own health problems were associated with more time limitation for both spouses, but family members health problems (i.e., parents, spouse, and children) were associated with wives self-perceptions of aging only. Furthermore, higher spousal support was associated with more positive self-perceptions of aging for both husbands and wives. Both own and partner reports of spousal strain were associated with husbands higher levels of aging anxiety. Discussion and Implications: Given the significance of family events and marital quality on perceptions of aging among Korean baby boomer couples, both intergenerational and spousal contexts should be considered in examining subjective aging experiences in midlife.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1044-1053
Number of pages10
JournalThe Gerontologist
Volume58
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Couple
  • Family events
  • Marital quality
  • Midlife
  • Perceptions of aging

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