If He Is in Shape, So Is the Marriage: Perceptions of Physical Fitness and Exercise and Older Couples’ Marital Functioning

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The current study explored concordance in spouses’ perceptions about exercise and how these perceptions predicted observed and self-reported marital functioning using a sample of 64 older married couples. Although couples were similarly motivated to exercise, their views on their physical fitness and potential barriers to exercise were uncorrelated. Dyadic analyses suggested that spouses’ exercise perceptions, particularly husbands’, were associated with how spouses treated each other during a marital problem-solving task and with their concurrent and future marital satisfaction. Exploring how spouses’ views of exercise are related to their marital functioning and for whom these links are most salient may highlight potential opportunities and challenges for those wishing to strengthen couples’ individual and relational well-being through exercise.

Rauer is with the Dept. of Child and Family Studies, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. Hornbuckle is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN.

Address author correspondence to Amy Rauer at arauer@utk.edu.
Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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