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Soutien conjugal, stratégies adaptatives et bien-être: analyse différentielle des perceptions des conjoints âgés

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 November 2010

Francine Ducharme
Affiliation:
Université de Montréal

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to describe the elderly marital partners' perceptions of conjugal support and coping strategies and the relationship between these perceptions and their well-being. A multistage sample of 135 community-dwelling elderly couples, 65 years of age and over, was drawn from users and non-users of the health and social systems in a large metropolitan area. A series of questionnaires, presented within an interview format, were used to measure the variables. Each spouse was separately interviewed at home. Paired t-tests revealed that husbands tended to perceive more support from their spouse and to use less external social support than wives when coping with daily problems. Intraclass coefficients of correlation between husbands' and wives' coping strategies were only low to moderate. However, for both marital partners, results revealed significant positive correlations between availability and reciprocity of conjugal support and well-being and a negative association between conflict within the conjugal relationship and well-being. Only two cognitive coping strategies, namely reframing and active appraisal were positively related to the well-being of both spouses. Repeated measures analysis of variance revealed that congruency of perception between husbands and wives had an effect only on wives' well-being. These findings suggest psychosocial interventions and are discussed in relation to previous studies and future research.

Résumé

Le but de cette étude était de décrire les perceptions des conjoints âgés concernant les caractéristiques du soutien conjugal dont ils bénéficient et les stratégies adaptatives qu'ils utilisent pour gérer les stresseurs quotidiens, de même que la relation entre ces perceptions et le bien-être. Un échantillon de 135 couples âgés ont été interviewés à domicile à l'aide de mesures standardisées présentées séparément aux conjoints masculins et féminins. Des tests de t pairés ont démontré des différences significatives entre les perceptions des deux conjoints; les hommes présentent une perception plus positive que leur épouse du soutien conjugal et font une moindre utilisation des stratégies adaptatives liées à une recherche d'aide à l'extérieur de la dyade conjugale à l'occasion de problèmes quotidiens. Les corréations intra-classe faibles à modérées entre les stratégies adaptatives des maris et des femmes suggèrent également des différences entre époux concernant les stratégies utilisées pour composer avec les difficultés. Par ailleurs, pour les deux conjoints, la perception de la disponibilité et de la réciprocité du soutien conjugal est positivement associée au bien-être tandis que la perception des conflits générés par le soutien y est négativement associée. Les stratégies adaptatives cognitives, soit le recadrage et l'évaluation active des problèmes, sont les seules stratégies associées au bien-être des deux conjoints. Des analyses de variance à mesures répétées ont révélé un effet significatif de la congruence entre les perceptions des conjoints concernant tant le soutien conjugal que les strategies adaptatives sur le bien-être des femmes âgées seulement. Ces données appuient les résultats de certains travaux antérieurs et suggèrent des pistes de recherche et d'intervention.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Association on Gerontology 1993

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