The goal of the proposed research is to examine how marital satisfaction is linked to partners'wellbeing. While it has been well established that marital satisfaction is strongly linked to partners'mental health, the underlying pathways are not well understood. The proposed study will attempt to delineate the pathways involved by using longitudinal and behavioral genetic techniques. This research will examine how: change in spouses'wellbeing influences change in partners'marital satisfaction and wellbeing over time (Specific Aim 1);assortative mating for wellbeing accounts for partners'marital satisfaction (Specific Aim 2);and parental warmth in childhood accounts for the association between marital satisfaction and wellbeing in adulthood (Specific Aim 3). To achieve the stated research goals, the proposed study is motivated by the following three training aims: to develop and apply theoretical and didactic skills in lifespan development (Training Aim 1);to learn and apply skills in longitudinal data analytic techniques (Training Aim 2);and to learn and apply skills in assortative mating modeling techniques (Training Aim 3). The proposed research will use existing data from two complimentary samples: the Nonshared Environment in Adolescent Development (NEAD;R01MH43373, R01MH48825, and R01MH59014) project: a longitudinal sample of spouses in middle and older adulthood and the Twin and Offspring Study in Sweden (TOSS;R01MH54601): a cross-sectional sample of middle adult same-sex pairs of twins and their spouses or partners. In line with Strategic Direction A-1 of the National Institute on Aging (NIA), findings will help to identify multiple pathways through which positive social interactions are linked to wellbeing, thus helping to identify intervention targets to improve adults'mental health and quality of life (2008).

Public Health Relevance

The aim of this project is to examine pathways through which marital satisfaction is linked to partners'wellbeing using longitudinal and behavioral genetic techniques, with the aim of helping to identify targets of intervention to improve adults'wellbeing and quality of life.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-F16-B (20))
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Nielsen, Lisbeth
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Pennsylvania State University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
University Park
United States
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Horwitz, Briana N; Reynolds, Chandra A; Walum, Hasse et al. (2016) Understanding The Role of Mate Selection Processes in Couples' Pair-Bonding Behavior. Behav Genet 46:143-9
Horwitz, Briana N; Marceau, Kristine; Narusyte, Jurgita et al. (2015) Parental criticism is an environmental influence on adolescent somatic symptoms. J Fam Psychol 29:283-9
Marceau, Kristine; Horwitz, Briana N; Narusyte, Jurgita et al. (2013) Gene-environment correlation underlying the association between parental negativity and adolescent externalizing problems. Child Dev 84:2031-46
Horwitz, Briana N; Neiderhiser, Jenae M (2011) Gene - Environment Interplay, Family Relationships, and Child Adjustment. J Marriage Fam 73:804-816