Conjugal support: Factor structure for older husbands and wives

T. B. Anderson, B. J. McCulloch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to investigate the factor structure of social support among older spouses. The sample consisted of 298 older marital dyads who participated in the Aging Couples Study. Confirmatory factor analysis techniques were used to examine conjugal support in a series of nested measurement models at the couple and individual levels. Two research questions were addressed: (a) the viability of conjugal support as a couple's construct, and (b) the dimensionality of social support within the marital dyad. Results showed that conjugal support was a husband/wife, rather than a couple, construct. Findings also showed that conjugal support was a multidimensional construct consisting of three factors: instrumental support, emotional support, and confiding. Moreover, husbands and wives perceived the dimensions of conjugal support differently.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S133-S142
JournalJournals of Gerontology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993


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