Positive, negative, and ambivalent attitudes toward one's spouse : longitudinal associations with health and well-being.
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Liu, Yingling, 1986-
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Incompatible feelings are inevitable in social relationships, and individuals can simultaneously hold both positive and negative attitudes toward others. This finding has led to the emergence of research on the causes and consequences of ambivalent attitudes toward others. Considerable research has examined the association between ambivalent attitudes and health in intergenerational relationships, yet little work focused specifically on spousal relations. Findings from an analysis of two waves of data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project showed that positive attitudes toward one’s spouse were associated with increases in self-rated health and happiness over time, while negative attitudes were associated with increases in depressive symptoms and declines in happiness. In addition, ambivalent attitudes toward one’s spouse were associated with increases in depressive symptoms and decreases in both happiness and self-rated health across the two waves of data. Frequency of sexual activity explained some, but not all, of these associations.