Ethnic Minority Status, Depression, And Cognitive Failures In Relation To Marital Adjustment In Ethnically Diverse Older Women

The authors investigated the relationship between marital adjustment and ethnic minority status, depressive symptomatology, and cognitive failures among 78 married, community-dwelling, and predominantly non-European-American older women (ages 57 to 89 years). Respondents were screened to rule out dementia. Level of depressive symptoms, self-report of cognitive failures, and marital adjustment scores were obtained. As hypothesized, higher depressive symptomatology and cognitive failures were associated with worse marital adjustment (p < .05 for both). The same was true for membership in a nondominant ethnic group, albeit only when ethnic status was considered outside the context of the other two independent variables. These results have clinical implications and fit within the theoretical framework of the socioemotional selectivity theory (Carstensen, 1992 Carstensen, L. L. 1992. Social and emotional patterns in adulthood: Support for socioemotional selectivity theory.