The family sense of coherence and the retirement transition

Shifra Sagy, Aaron Antonovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study focuses on the marital dyad as the family social system in which the individual experiences stressors and engages in coping. It exploits Antonovsky's (1979, 1987) salutogenic model and its core concept, the sense of coherence (SOC). The developmental stressor is the retirement of a family member. Data were collected in two stages in a sample of 286 middle class, married Israeli retirees. Three questions are considered: (a) How can the SOC be measured at a family level? Four alternative models are proposed. (b) Is the family SOC a good predictor of the individual retiree's adaptation? Positive results were obtained with three models. (c) Does the family SOC further our understanding of retiree adaptation beyond the individual SOC? Among incongruent families (one spouse high SOC, the other low), the salutogenic version of the family SOC seems to be a better predictor of adaptation than the individual SOC.
Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)983-993
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Marriage and the Family
StatePublished - Nov 1992


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