Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 911–928 | Cite as

The Contribution of Resistance Resources and Sense of Coherence to Life Satisfaction in Older Age

  • Ulrich WiesmannEmail author
  • Hans-Joachim Hannich
Research Paper


We investigate how the sense of coherence and resistance resources explain two aspects of life satisfaction, general life satisfaction and satisfaction with health in older age. For the first time, we tested the mediating role of the sense of coherence. In our questionnaire study, 387 older persons at the mean age of 73.8 years volunteered. In addition to the sense of coherence and life satisfaction measures, we assessed selected resistance resources representing relevant socio-demographic, functional health, social network, everyday competence, and psychological factors. We found that (a) resistance resources and the sense of coherence significantly predicted life satisfaction, (b) the sense of coherence was a mediator of the relationship between resistance resources and life satisfaction, and (c) the predicted effects did not differ for general life satisfaction and satisfaction with health. The sense of coherence as well as resources such as physical health, everyday competence, social support, and self-esteem are important antecedents of life satisfaction. Moreover, the sense of coherence represents a superordinate concept as it pools resistance influences on life satisfaction.


Sense of coherence Resilience Life satisfaction Successful aging 



We thank Ulrike Plötz for editorial help with the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Medical PsychologyUniversity Medicine GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany

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