Continuity and discontinuity in attitudes toward marital power relations: Pre-retired vs retired husbands

Liat Kulik, Haia Zuckerman Bareli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Taking a life-cycle approach to marital power relations, the paper compares the attitudes of married men close to retirement with those who are retired. An integrative model based on Resource Theory was designed to analyse the effect of several variables on the husband's perceptions of power relations: perceived resources, attitudes toward gender roles, emotional commitment to his wife and anticipated dependence on her. The model was tested on a sample of 348 Israeli men - 137 pre-retired and 211 retirees. Contrary to expectations of a decline in the retired husband's perceived power, no differences were found between the two groups except for a reported increase in social power among the older group. Major differences were found, however, regarding the overall impact of variables: perceived economic resources had the strongest explanatory power for pre-retired respondents, whereas it was psycho-social factors (anticipated dependence on the wife for satisfaction of emotional needs, psychological resources, and emotional commitment to the wife) that best explained variance among retirees. The increased dependence of retired husbands on their wives' expressive resources seems to contradict their reports of greater social power, suggesting that their perceptions of marital power relations may be coloured by feelings of status anxiety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-595
Number of pages25
JournalAgeing and Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997


  • Anticipated dependence
  • Attitudes toward gender roles
  • Emotional commitment
  • Marital power relations
  • Pre-retirement stage
  • Resource Theory
  • Retirement stage


Dive into the research topics of 'Continuity and discontinuity in attitudes toward marital power relations: Pre-retired vs retired husbands'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this