Flow and Happiness in Later Life: An Investigation into the Role of Daily and Weekly Flow Experiences
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- Collins, A.L., Sarkisian, N. & Winner, E. J Happiness Stud (2009) 10: 703. doi:10.1007/s10902-008-9116-3
Fifty-four older adults ranging in age from 70 to 86 years old (M = 77.54) reported daily levels of positive and negative affect, life satisfaction and daily activities for seven consecutive days. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was used to investigate inter- and intra-individual effects of flow experiences on affect. Higher quality of flow was positively associated with high arousal positive affect (i.e., feeling peppy, enthusiastic, happy), negatively associated with low arousal negative affect (i.e., feeling sad and disappointed), and positively associated with life satisfaction. However, more frequent flow experiences throughout the week predicted lower average levels of positive affect and life satisfaction. Overall, the results demonstrate that flow is linked to the affective experiences of older adults, and that an individual’s overall propensity to experience flow may be influential beyond the immediate effects of a given flow experience.