Older women’s friendships: illuminating the role of marital histories in how older women navigate friendships and caregiving for friends

Ashley E. Ermer, Kristin N. Matera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present study explores the role of marital histories in how older women navigate their friendships and how they provide care for, receive care from, and help friends. Nineteen semi-structured interviews with older women (mean age = 75.89) were conducted. All participants had at least a high-school education and identified as non-Hispanic White (N = 19). Three major themes emerged: 1) similarities and differences in friendship among marrieds and unmarrieds, 2) shifts in friendships after marital loss, and 3) caregiving and helping friends. These findings have implications for how older women view friendship and for policies concerning caregiving and friendship.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Women and Aging
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • caregiving
  • Friends
  • marital histories
  • marital status
  • marital transitions

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