Late-midlife and older couples' shared possible selves and psychological well-being during times of illness: The role of collaborative problem solving

Ines Schindler, Cynthia A. Berg, Jorie M. Butler, Katherine T. Fortenberry, Deborah J. Wiebe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


We investigated associations between spouses' shared possible selves and well-being as a function of their perceptions of collaboration in 61 late-midlife (M = 60 years) and older (M = 72 years) couples dealing with prostate cancer. Spouses completed assessments of possible selves (with shared selves defined as possible selves portraying a similar goal across spouses), psychological well-being, and enjoyment and frequency of collaboration. Associations between shared selves and better well-being occurred through better enjoyment of collaboration regardless of age (after controlling for marital quality and subjective health). An interaction revealing that shared selves were associated with better well-being only with frequent collaboration was obtained with older couples but was not found in late-midlife couples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-424
Number of pages9
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume65 B
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010



  • Collaborative problem solving
  • Late-midlife and older married couples
  • Prostate cancer
  • Psychological well-being
  • Shared possible selves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Gerontology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Medicine(all)

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