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Sastry's 10-year study of New Orleans Katrina evacuees shows demographic differences between returning and nonreturning

Stafford says less educated, smaller investors more likely to sell off stock and lock in losses during market downturn

Chen says job fit, job happiness can be achieved over time

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Deirdre Bloome wins ASA award for work on racial inequality and intergenerational transmission

Bob Willis awarded 2015 Jacob Mincer Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Field of Labor Economics

David Lam is new director of Institute for Social Research

Elizabeth Bruch wins Robert Merton Prize for paper in analytic sociology

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Oct 12
Joe Grengs, Policy & Planning for Social Equity in Transportation

Impact of Self-Assessed Hearing Loss on a Spouse: a Longitudinal Analysis of Couples

Publication Abstract

Wallhagen, M.I., W.J. Strawbridge, S.J. Shema, and George A. Kaplan. 2004. "Impact of Self-Assessed Hearing Loss on a Spouse: a Longitudinal Analysis of Couples." Journals of Gerontology Series B-Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 59(3): S190-S196.

Objectives. Hearing loss is increasingly common among older persons and is negatively associated with health and well-being. Its impact on spouses, however, is poorly researched. This study analyzed the relationship between a spouse's self-assessed hearing loss and his or her partner's physical, psychological, and social well-being 5 years later. Methods. Subjects were 418 older married couples from the Alameda County Study. Hearing loss and adjustment variables were assessed in 1994 and outcomes in 1999. Longitudinal analyses included multivariate statistical models using generalized estimating equations to adjust for paired data and partners' hearing loss, age, gender, chronic conditions, and financial problems. Results. Spouse hearing loss increased the likelihood of subsequent poorer physical, psychological, and social wellbeing in partners. The negative impact of husbands' hearing loss on wives' well-being appears stronger than the reverse. Discussion. Findings suggest that early diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss constitute important clinical strategies to enhance the well-being of both hearing-impaired individuals and their spouses and support policy change to cover hearing devices by insurance. Further research incorporating theoretical perspectives from communication theory and qualitative methodology would enhance understanding of how hearing loss impacts older couples and support refinement of interventions to promote quality of life.

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