Marital Satisfaction and Mental Health in Adults Over 40 Years old. Associations with Self-Perceptions of Aging and Stress Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Being married has been associated with a better attitude to aging and a buffer against stressful situations, factors that influence mental health. The study analyzes the role of self-perceptions of aging and stress related to the COVID–19 pandemic in the association between marital satisfaction and participants’ mental health. 246 people older than 40 years in a marital/partner relationship were assessed. A path analysis was tested, where self-perceptions of aging and stress from the COVID–19 situation were proposed as mechanisms of action in the association between marital satisfaction and anxious and depressive symptoms. Marital satisfaction, self-perceptions of aging, and stress associated with the COVID–19 pandemic significantly contributed to the model and explained 31% of the variance in participants´ anxious symptomatology, and 42% of the variance in depressive symptomatology. The indirect path of self-perceptions of aging and stress associated with the COVID–19 pandemic in the link between marital satisfaction and anxious and depressive symptoms was statistically significant for both outcome variables. The findings of this study suggest that lower perceived marital satisfaction is associated with higher levels of negative self-perceptions of aging and with higher anxiety and depressive symptoms. Public significance statements: This study suggests that higher marital satisfaction may be a buffer for negative self-perception of aging, and both factors are related with experiencing less stress from COVID–19. These links are associated with less anxious and depressive symptoms.
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