The current study included an examination of social factors that mitigate or exacerbate insomnia symptoms among older adults who are married or living with a partner. We first examined the unique effects of spousal support and strain on insomnia symptoms and then evaluated the degree to which extramarital social factors (e.g., friend support) moderated spousal influences. Data came from Waves 2 and 3 of the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project. Our sample consisted of 495 participants who were either married or cohabitating with a partner (M age in years = 69.84, SD = 8.08). Spousal strain—but not support—predicted higher insomnia symptoms 5 years later. Spousal influences on sleep, however, were moderated by extramarital factors in nuanced ways. Findings highlight the importance of taking into account older adults’ wider social context when examining the ways in which sleep is sensitive to positive and negative aspects of marital quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-34
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aging
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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