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E. Why Older Couples Experience More Marital Satisfaction

Narrator: This is Science Today. For years, social scientists have known that older couples tend to be happier couples. Now, the University of California, Berkeley is more than a decade into a long-term study of marital satisfaction in both elderly and middle-aged couples. Cenita Kupperbusch says her research gives some insight into why marriages tend to get better late in life.

Kupperbusch: There is a trend for older couples to report slightly higher levels of marital satisfaction as they moved into old age and that was not the case for the middle-aged group. Part of the reason marital satisfaction increases as people move from the stage when they've got kids out of the home and they've moved into retirement is that they've got less things to be having troubles over.

Narrator: Kupperbusch says this shows that the low-point for marital satisfaction may be closely linked with the years when couples share their home with their children.

Kupperbusch: I guess the recommendation I would make is if you're in a good marriage, stick it out. It only gets better.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.