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1982; Bahr and Harvey 1980; Ferraro 1984; Lowenthal and Haven 1968).These findings suggest that the more active one is after widowhood, the easier the adjustment process may be.To date, bereavement studies have focused primarily on the emotional and psychological responses to widowhood (see Stroebe, Hansson, Stroebe, and Schut 2001), the behavioral adjustments associated with late-life bereavement may be one of the most difficult challenges an elderly person faces.Upon widowhood, the survivor must relinquish the status of married person and assume the identity of widow(er).Using data from the Changing Lives of Older Couples study, analyses compared widowed persons to continuously married control participants to evaluate whether widowhood affects older adults' levels of social participation.

Second, disengagement theory (Cumming and Henry 1961) rests on the assumption that individuals seek to maintain role stability throughout the life course.

In response to this identity transition, bereaved persons may realign their social networks or alter their social activities.

Social interactions outside of the marital relationship may become increasingly salient, thereby increasing bereaved persons' level of social involvement.

Although the three measures of individual health were significantly correlated ( was a dichotomy indicating those respondents who provided in-home care for a spouse.

Spouses who provided at least 1 hr of care per week were identified as the baseline caregivers.

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