Conjugal bereavement and well-being of elderly men and women: A preliminary study

A.P. Nieboer, S.M. Lindenberg, J. Ormel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Considerable variation in the effects of the loss of the spouse have been reported, and there is lack of agreement regarding the effects of gender and bereavement on well-being. The objective of this article is to examine time-differences in the consequences of bereavement for men and women. Cross-sectional data are used on 4642 married or widowed late mid-life and elderly people. Analyses show that bereaved participants score significantly lower on well-being, and a clear gender-effect is found in connection with the time period of bereavement. Men score considerably lower than women when they are up to two years bereaved, but not when they are bereaved longer than two years. Hence, analyses of variance revealed an interaction effect for gender * time period. In addition, while the largest part of the variance in well-being can be explained by different means of achieving well-being, the effects of marital status, gender, and adjustment to widowhood over time do not disappear completely.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-141
Number of pages29
JournalOmega : journal of death and dying
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998



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