Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 763–777 | Cite as

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

  • Gill WindleEmail author
  • Robert T. Woods
  • David A. Markland
Research Paper


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.


Psychological resources Resilience Ill-health Subjective well-being Moderator 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gill Windle
    • 1
    Email author
  • Robert T. Woods
    • 1
  • David A. Markland
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Medical and Social Care ResearchBangor UniversityBangorUK
  2. 2.School of Sport, Health and Exercise SciencesBangor UniversityBangorUK

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