Productive and Social Engagement following Driving Cessation: A Couple-Based Analysis
Curl, Angela L.
Proulx, Christine M.
Stowe, James D.
Cooney, Teresa M.
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Drawing on interdependence theory, this study examined the cross-spouse impact of driving cessation on productive (work, formal volunteering, and informal volunteering) and social engagement of older couples age 65+ using longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study (1998 – 2010; N = 1,457 couples). Multilevel modeling results indicate that driving cessation reduced husbands’ productive and social engagement, and wives’ productive engagement. Spousal driving cessation reduced husbands’ likelihood of working or formal volunteering, and wives’ likelihood of working or informal volunteering. The more time since spousal driving cessation, the less likely husbands were to work and the less likely wives were to formally volunteer. Results suggest the need for greater recognition of the impact of driving cessation on couples, rather than just individuals, as well as the need for enhanced services or rehabilitation efforts to maintain driving even among couples with one remaining driver.
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