, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 763-777
Date: 22 Oct 2009

Living with Ill-Health in Older Age: The Role of a Resilient Personality

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Abstract

This paper tests the hypothesis that a resilient personality moderates the impact of ill-health on subjective well-being. A cross-sectional survey drew a random sample of 1,847 people from England, Wales and Scotland aged between 50 and 90. Participants were interviewed face-to-face in their own homes. This paper examines demographic data, life satisfaction, psychological resources and ill-health. The direct and moderating effects were analysed using the method of multiple regression. Significant main effects of resilience and ill-health on life satisfaction were found in all of the age-groups. In three of these (60–69, 70–79 and 80–90) the addition of the interaction term was associated with a significant increase in the size of the effect, indicating a resilient self moderated the negative effect of ill-health on subjective well-being. Resilient resources can be a valuable mechanism for maintaining well-being and understanding differential resistance to, and recovery from ill-health in later life.