Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 1339–1358 | Cite as

Association of Positivity with Health Problems in Old Age: Preliminary Findings from Spanish Middle Class Seniors

  • Mariagiovanna CapraraEmail author
  • Laura Di Giunta
  • Gian Vittorio Caprara
Research Paper


Previous studies have indicated positivity as a basic trait which lies at the very heart of self-esteem, life satisfaction, and dispositional optimism, and predisposes people to view life and experience from a positive point of view. The present research addresses the extent to which age, positivity and its abovementioned expressions may be associated with healthy functioning in old age. Fifty-one men and eighty-one women, all Spanish, predominantly middle-class and educated, in good health and ranging in age from 62 to 80, participated in this research project. The findings reveal the role positivity plays in moderating the negative impact of aging on health problems as assessed by availing of the Nottingham Health Profile. The higher the positivity, the less people seem inclined to report health problems as they advance in age. Self-esteem, life satisfaction, and optimism too show similar effects, but only the association between life satisfaction, health problems and aging were worth considering, once positivity was kept under control.


Positivity Aging health problems Self-esteem Life satisfaction Optimism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mariagiovanna Caprara
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laura Di Giunta
    • 2
  • Gian Vittorio Caprara
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and HealthOpen University of Madrid, UDIMAMadridSpain
  2. 2.Psychology DepartmentSapienza University of RomeRomeItaly

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