The quality of dyadic relationships, leisure activities and health among older women

Abstract

We examined the combined influence of dyadic relationships and leisure activities on health. We used self-administered survey to collect data at senior centers from French and English older women (N = 257) in Montreal, Quebec. Multiple regression analyses (OLS) were used to examine the main effects of dyadic quality and leisure activities on physical and mental health. Despite controlling for specific dyadic groups, meals, and bingo, we find that the quality of dyadic relationships has a strong influence on mental health measured by spirit, happiness, and an interesting life. Leisure activities are also a significant predictor and appear to improve physical health measured by self-reported health and the number of chronic conditions. Implications for gerontology practitioners in the United States, Canada, and other Western cultures, along with research strategies, are discussed.

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