fifty shades of freed

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  • 1. OLDER WOMENIYOUNGER MEN: A LOOK AT THE IMPLICATIONS OF AGE HETEROGAMY IN MARRIAGE BY Nichole R. Proulx-King B.A. University of Maine, 2002 A THESIS Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science (in Human Development) The Graduate School The University of Maine August, 2004Advisory Committee:Sandra L. Caron, Professor of Family Relations, AdvisorMary Ellin Logue, Assistant Professor of Early Childhood EducationMary Madden, Assistant Research Professor
  • 2. O 2004 Nichole Proulx-King All Rights Reserved
  • 3. OLDER WOMENNOUNGER MEN: A LOOK AT THE IMPLICATIONS OF AGE HETEROGAMY IN MARRIAGE By Nichole R. Proulx-King Thesis Advisor: Dr. Sandra L. Caron An Abstract of the Thesis Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science (in Human Development) August, 2004 This study provides insight into the lives of eight married couples involvedin an age-heterogamous relationship where the wife is eight or more years olderthan her husband. While there is a lot of information in the literature about menwho date and marry younger women, the research on this subject is very limitedor outdated. This exploratory study provided valuable information in severalareas about couples in woman-older marriages. The interviews were conductedwith each participant separately and explored three major topics of interest: theimpact that age difference has on the relationship, the issues that arise for thecouple, and any difference in husbands and wives experience. Implications forprofessionals working with such couples, as well as for further research, will bediscussed.
  • 4. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank all of the people who have supported me throughoutthis process and who have helped me get to this point in my life. First I wouldlike to thank my committee for their help in putting this thesis together. Dr. MaryEllin Logue and Dr. Mary Madden have given me valuable insight into thedynamics of this project. I would especially like to recognize the chair of mycommittee, Dr. Sandra Caron, who has not only been someone who has guidedme through my graduate school career, and has done an exceptional job helpingme with this project, but is also a mentor and a friend. I would also like to thank my husband, Kraig, for supporting me throughevery step of graduate school and for being my rock and my encouragement.Without his patience, emotional support, and unconditional love I would neverhave completed this thesis. I certainly cannot leave out my parents, Raymond and Patricia Proulx,who gave me the tools I needed to go as far as I have. They have always beenmy biggest fans and supporters and I am lucky to be a part of their lives. I alsowant to thank my brothers Raymond and Kevin for their never-ending supportand encouragement. I would like to thank John and Natalie King for their continued help and forbelieving in me. I am proud to be a part of your family. Finally, I would like tothank all of my friends that have supported me throughout this process especiallyErin and Renee, and most importantly Ely who has given me so much continuousstrength and encouragement to make it through.
  • 5. TABLE OF CONTENTS ...ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .................................................................................. IIILIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................... viChapter1. INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................... 12 . REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ................................................................... 5 Definitions ............................................................................................... 5 Homogamy .............................................................................................. 5 Heterogamy ............................................................................................. 8 Type of Persons Engaging in Age Heterogamous Relationships .......... 11 Issues Raised in Woman.Older. Age Heterogamous Marriages ........... 15 Summary ............................................................................................... 18 Purpose of Study and Research Questions .......................................... 193 . METHODOLOGY......................................................................................... 22 Sample .................................................................................................. 22 Interview Procedure .............................................................................. 24 Interview Technique .............................................................................. 25 Data Analysis ........................................................................................ 264 . RESULTS .................................................................................................... 27 Research Question 1 ............................................................................ 27 32 Research Question 2 ............................................................................ 38 Research Question 3 ............................................................................5.DISCUSSION ................................................................................................ 40 Research Question 1 ............................................................................ 41 42 Research Question 2 .......................................................................... Research Question 3 ............................................................................ 43 Implications ........................................................................................... 45 Limitations ............................................................................................. 46REFERENCES ................................................................................................ 49
  • 6. APPENDICES .....................................................................................