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Couple similarity with respect to physical and mental disabilities.

Authors
  • Dammeyer, Jesper1
  • Umino, Ayumi1
  • Chapman, Madeleine1
  • 1 Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. , (Denmark)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Scandinavian journal of public health
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2024
Volume
52
Issue
1
Pages
24–30
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/14034948221113652
PMID: 36076360
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Existing research on relationships provides strong evidence of couple similarity on a wide range of variables including physical attributes, abilities, and attitudes. However, couple similarity with respect to disability has not been researched. This study investigated couple similarity with respect to both physical and mental disabilities, as well as associations with life satisfaction, among adult cohabiting couples in Denmark. The study analysed data on self-reported mental and physical disabilities from a national survey involving 18,957 participants aged 16 to 65 years. The results showed that participants with a disability were more likely to have a partner with a disability. Further, results showed similarity by type and severity of disability as well as age of onset of disability. Having a partner with a disability was found to be associated with low life satisfaction among men with a disability. Results also showed an association among men with a disability between low life satisfaction and the onset of their disability after (as opposed to before) the start of their relationship. These associations were not found among women with a disability. The findings provide clear evidence for couple similarity with respect to disability. Findings on life satisfaction showed gender differences that might be explained by cultural gender norms that may play a particular role with respect to disability. Longitudinal research is required to research the factors that mediate how having or developing a disability affects relationships and wellbeing over time.

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