Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Gerontology Institute

First Advisor

Elisabeth Burgess - Chair

Second Advisor

Dawn Baunach

Third Advisor

Candace Kemp


This study examines social support and sexual interest among coupled persons aged 57 to 85 in North America. Using quantitative data from the 2006 National, Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (n = 3,005), the dependent variable is sexual interest and the independent variable is social support received from an intimate partner. Using survey and quantitative interview data, I analyze social support older couples receive from their partner, sexual interest, health status, marital status, and gender. In my analysis, I predict that higher levels of social support will positively affect levels of sexual interest, with health, relationship status, and gender mediating the outcomes. This study has gerontological significance because sexuality can impact overall well-being among older adults, and my findings could further our understanding of sexuality among this population.


Included in

Sociology Commons