During 2007-2010, Dr Ruth Walker and Professor Mary Luszcz of the Flinders Centre for Ageing Studies, conducted a research project on the dynamics of spousal relationships among older couples in the Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing. This project was funded by the Australian Research Council (Linkage-LP0669272) in collaboration with partner organisations: Office for the Ageing, ECH, Alzheimer's SA and Relationships Australia SA.

The project aimed to explore: (1) dynamics of how having a partner adds to, or detracts from, ageing well; (2) how attitudes to where older couples currently live change according to changes in health status and/or economic and socio-environmental factors; and (3) factors that contribute to the longevity of marriages.

A briefing paper based on the project findings is available here: Older Couples Briefing Paper (PDF 316KB)

A number of papers have also arisen from this research:

 1. Walker R & Luszcz MA.  Health and relationship dynamics within late-life couples: a systematic review.  Ageing & Society, 2009; 29: 455-480.

2. Walker R, Luszcz MA, Gerstorf D & Hoppmann C (in press).  Subjective well-being dynamics in couples from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Gerontology.

3. Walker R, Luszcz MA, Hislop J & Moore V (under revision).  A gendered life course examination of how older women experience and adapt to sleep difficulties. Ageing & Society, June 2010.

4. Walker R, Burton C, Kitwe-Magambo K & Luszcz MA (under review). Spousal relationships and the role of social networks on marital satisfaction among older couples. Australasian Journal on Ageing, April 2010.