Advertisement

Social Indicators Research

, Volume 127, Issue 3, pp 1377–1389 | Cite as

A Double Test on the Importance of Spirituality, the “Forgotten Factor”, in Successful Aging

  • J. M. TomásEmail author
  • P. Sancho
  • L. Galiana
  • A. Oliver
Article

Abstract

Rowe and Kahn proposed a model of successful aging, tapping several characteristics of the aging process. However, Rowe and Kahn’s model of successful aging has recently been criticized for not incorporating spirituality in the model. Additionally, life satisfaction has long been recognized as a marker of aging well. Taking life satisfaction as a key outcome of successful aging, the aim of this study is to test for the predictive power of spirituality dimensions on life satisfaction, while controlling for the components of successful aging. Data came from a cross-sectional survey design of 224 community-dwelling Spanish elderly. Structural models with two different measures of spirituality were estimated, and the results fully supported the key role of spirituality for a successful aging. The models predicted life satisfaction with several indicators of Rowe and Kahn’s model and spirituality dimensions. Overall, life satisfaction of the elderly was strongly related to the indicators, and spirituality strongly aided to the prediction of life satisfaction. Results of this research agree with recent literature, as spirituality seemed to be a key element when picturing successful aging, and thus, it should be taken into account in future studies addressing this topic.

Keywords

Life satisfaction Meaning Peace Intrapersonal spirituality Transpersonal spirituality 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Laura Galiana is beneficiary of a VLC/CAMPUS grant, subprogram Atracció de Talent (University of Valencia).

References

  1. Barreto, P., Fombuena, M., Diego, R., Galiana, L., Oliver, A., & Benito, E. (2015). Bienestar emocional y espiritualidad al final de la vida. Medicina Paliativa, 22, 25–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Benito, E., Oliver, A., Galiana, L., Barreto, P., Pascual, A., Gomis, C., & Barbero, J. (2014). Development and validation of a new tool for the assessment and spiritual care of palliative care patients. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 47(1008–1018), e1.Google Scholar
  3. Bentler, P. M. (1990). Comparative fit indices in structural models. Psychological Bulletin, 107, 238–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bentler, P. M. (2005). EQS structural equations program manual. California: Multivariate Software Inc.Google Scholar
  5. Berg, A. I., Hassing, L. B., Johansson, B., & McClearn, G. (2006). What matters for life satisfaction in the oldest-old? Aging and Mental Health, 10, 257–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Berg, C. A., Smith, T. W., Henry, N. J. M., & Pearce, G. E. (2007). A developmental approach to psychosocial risk factors and successful aging. In C. M. Aldwin, C. L. Park, & A. Spiro (Eds.), Handbook of health psychology and aging (pp. 30–53). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  7. Borg, C., Hallberg, I. R., & Blomqvist, K. (2006). Life 580 satisfaction among older people (65þ) with reduced self-care capacity: The relationship to social, health and financial aspects. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 15, 607–618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bowling, A., & Browne, P. D. (1991). Social networks, health, and emotional well-being among the oldest old in London. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 46, S20–S32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bowling, A., & Dieppe, P. (2005). What is successful ageing and who should define it? British Medical Journal, 331, 24–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brady, M. J., Peterman, A. H., Fitchett, G., & Cella, D. (1999). The expanded version of the functional assessment of chronic illness therapy—spiritual well-being scale (FACIT-Sp-Ex): Initial report of psychometric properties. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 21, 129.Google Scholar
  11. Brown, P. H., & Tierney, B. (2009). Religion and subjective well-being among the elderly in China. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 38, 310–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Browne, M. W., & Cudeck, R. (1989). Single sample cross-validation indices for covariance structures. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 24, 445–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Byrne, B. M. (1998). Structural equation modeling with LISREL, PRELIS, and SIMPLIS: Basic concepts, applications, and programming. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.Google Scholar
  14. Canada, A. L., Murphy, P. E., Fitchett, G., Peterman, A. H., & Schover, L. R. (2008). A 3-factor model for the FACIT-Sp. Psychooncology, 17(9), 908–916.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cheng, S. (2013). Defining successful aging: The need to distinguish pathways from outcomes. International Psychogeriatrics,. doi: 10.1017/S1041610213001713.Google Scholar
  16. Ciarrocchi, J. W., Dy-Liacco, G. S., & Deneke, E. (2008). Gods or rituals? Relational faith, spiritual discontent, and religious practices as predictors of hope and optimism. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 3, 120–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cowlishaw, S., Niele, S., Teshuva, K., Browning, C., & Kendig, H. (2013). Older adults’ spirituality and life satisfaction: A longitudinal test of social support and sense of coherence as mediating mechanisms. Ageing and Society, 33, 1243–1262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Crowther, M. R., Parker, M. W., Achenbaum, W. A., Larimore, W. L., & Koenig, H. G. (2002). Rowe and Kahn’s model of successful aging revisited: Positive spirituality-the forgotten factor. The Gerontologist, 42, 613–620.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The “what” and “why” of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination theory. Psychological Inquiry, 11, 227–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Depp, C., Vahia, I. V., & Jeste, D. (2010). Successful aging: Focus on cognitive and emotional health. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 6, 527–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Diener, E., & Emmons, R. A. (1984). The independence of positive and negative affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47, 1105–1117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Emmons, R. A., & Paloutzian, R. F. (2003). The psychology of religion. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 377–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Fernández-Ballesteros, R., Zamarrón, M. D., & Ruíz, M. A. (2001). The contribution of socio-demographic and psychosocial factors to life satisfaction. Aging and Society, 21, 25–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Finney, S. J., & Di Stefano, C. (2006). Non-normal and categorical data in SEM. In G. R. Hancock & R. O. Mueller (Eds.), Structural equation modelling: A second course (pp. 269–314). Greenwich, CO: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
  26. Friedman, H. S., & Kern, M. L. (2014). Personality, well-being, and health. Annual Review of Psychology, 65, 19–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Galiana, L., Oliver, A., Gomis, C., Barbero, J., & Benito, E. (2014). Cuestionarios de evaluación e intervención espiritual en cuidados paliativos: Una revisión crítica. Medicina Paliativa, 21, 62–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gow, A. J., Pattie, A., Whiteman, M. C., Whalley, L. J., & Deary, I. J. (2007). Social support and successful aging. Investigating the relationships between lifetime cognitive change and life satisfaction. Journal of Individual Differences, 28, 103–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gutiérrez, M., Tomás, J. M., Galiana, L., Sancho, P., & Cebrià, M. A. (2013). Predicting life satisfaction of the Angolan elderly: A structural model. Aging and Mental Health, 17, 94–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Havighurst, R. J. (1961). Successful aging. The Gerontologist, 1, 8–13. doi: 10.1093/geront/1.1.8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Havighurst, R. J. (1963). Successful aging. In R. H. Williams, C. Tibbits, & W. Donahue (Eds.), Processes of aging (pp. 299–320). New York: Atherton Press.Google Scholar
  32. Hilton, J. M., Gonzalez, C. A., Saleh, M., Maitoza, R., & Anngela-Cole, L. (2012). Perceptions of successful aging among older Latinos, in cross-cultural context. Journal of Cross Cultural Gerontology, 27, 183–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hoyle, R. H., & Panter, A. T. (1995). Writing about structural equation models. In R. H. Hoyle (Ed.), Structural equation modeling: Concepts, issues and applications (pp. 159–176). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  34. Hu, L., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cut-off criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6, 1–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Iwamasa, G. Y., & Iwasaki, M. (2011). A new multidimensional model of successful aging: Perceptions of Japanese American older adults. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 26, 261–278. doi: 10.1007/s10823-011-9147-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kirby, S. E., Coleman, P. G., & Daley, D. (2004). Spirituality and well-being in frai and nonfrail older adults. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 59B, 123–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kline, R. B. (1998). Principles and practice of structural equation modelling. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  38. Koenig, H. G., McCullough, M., & Larson, D. B. (2000). Handbook of religion and health. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Krause, N. (1993). Measuring religiosity in later life. Research on Aging, 15, 170–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Krause, N. (2004). Common facets of religion, unique facets of religion, and life satisfaction among older African Americans. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 59B, S109–S117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kunzmann, U., Little, T. D., & Smith, J. (2000). Is age- related stability of subjective well-being a paradox? Cross-sectional and longitudinal evidence from the Berlin aging study. Psychology and Aging, 15, 511–526.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lawton, M. P., & Brody, E. M. (1969). Assessment of older people: Self-maintaining and instrumental activities of daily living. The Gerontologist, 9, 179–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lewis, J. P. (2013). The importance of optimism in maintaining healthy aging in rural Alaska. Qualitative Health Research, 23(11), 1521–1527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Liang, J., & Luo, B. (2012). Towards a discourse shift in social gerontology: From successful aging to harmonious aging. Journal of Aging Studies, 26, 327–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. MacCallum, R. C., Browne, M. W., & Sugawara, H. M. (1996). Power analysis and determination of sample size for covariance structure modeling. Psychological Methods, 11, 19–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Meléndez, J. C., Tomás, J. M., Oliver, A., & Navarro, E. (2009). Psychological and physical dimensions explaining life satisfaction among the elderly: A structural model examination. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 48, 291–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Moody, H. R., & Sasser, J. R. (2012). Aging: Concepts and controversies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.Google Scholar
  48. Okabayashi, H., Liang, J., Krause, N., Akiyama, H., & Sugisawa, H. (2004). Mental health among older adults in Japan: Do sources of social support and negative interaction make a difference? Social Science and Medicine, 59, 2259–2270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Park, C. L. (2007). Religious and spiritual issues in health and aging. In C. M. Aldwin, C. L. Park, & A. Spiro III (Eds.), Handbook of health psychology and aging (pp. 313–337). New York: The Guildford Press.Google Scholar
  50. Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2009). Achieving and sustaining a good life. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4, 422–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Peterman, A. H., Fitchett, G., Brady, M., Hernandez, L., & Cella, D. (2002). Measuring spiritual well-being in people with cancer: The functional assessment of chronic illness therapy—spiritual well-being scale (FACIT-Sp). Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 24(1), 49–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Phelan, E. A., Anderson, L. A., LaCroix, A. Z., & Larson, E. B. (2004). Older adults’ views of “successful aging”—how do they compare with researchers’ definitions? Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 52, 211–216. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2004.52056.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Pinquart, M., & Sörensen, S. (2001). Gender differences in self-concept and psychological well-being in old age: A meta-analysis. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 56B, 195–213. doi: 10.1093/geronb/56.4.P195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Pittman, T. S., & Zeigler, K. R. (2008). Basic human needs. In A. W. Kruglanski & E. T. Higgins (Eds.), Social psychology: Handbook of basic principles (pp. 473–489). New York: Guildford Press.Google Scholar
  55. Rowe, J. W., & Kahn, R. L. (1998). Successful aging. New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
  56. Shin, D. C., & Johnson, D. M. (1978). A vowed happiness as an overall assessment of the quality of life. Social Indicators Research, 5, 475–492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Steger, M. F. (2012). Experiencing meaning in life: Optimal functioning at the nexus of spirituality, psychopathology, and well-being. In P. T. P. Wong (Ed.), The human quest for meaning (pp. 165–184). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  58. Steiger, J. H., & Lind, C. (1980). Statistically based tests for the number of common factors. Iowa City, IA: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Psychometric Society.Google Scholar
  59. Tanaka, J. S. (1993). Multifaceted conceptions of fit in structural equation models. In K. A. Bollen & J. S. Long (Eds.), Testing structural equation models (pp. 10–39). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  60. Theurer, K., & Wister, A. (2010). Altruistic behavior and social capital as predictors of well-being among older Canadians. Ageing and Society, 30, 157–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Ullman, J. B. (1996). Structural equation modeling. In B. Tabachnick & L. Fidell (Eds.), Using multivariate statistics (3rd ed., pp. 709–812). New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  62. van Dierendonck, D. (2012). Spirituality as an essential determinant for the good life, its importance relative to self-determinant psychological needs. Journal of Happiness Studies, 13, 685–700.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. van Dierendonck, D., & Mohan, K. (2006). Some thoughts on spirituality and eudaemonic well-being. Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 9, 227–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. von Faber, M. A., van der Wiel, A. B., van Exel, E., Gussekloo, J., Lagaay, A. M., van Dongen, E., et al. (2001). Successful aging in the oldest old: Who can be characterized as successfully aged? Archives of Internal Medicine, 161, 2694–2700.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. WHOQOL SRPB Group. (2006). A cross-cultural study of spirituality, religion and personal beliefs as components of quality of life. Social Science and Medicine, 62, 1486–1497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Young, Y., Frick, K. D., & Phelan, E. A. (2009). Can successful aging and chronic illness coexist in the same individual? A multidimensional definition of successful aging. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 10, 87–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. M. Tomás
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. Sancho
    • 2
  • L. Galiana
    • 1
  • A. Oliver
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Methodology for the Behavioral SciencesUniversity of ValenciaValenciaSpain
  2. 2.Department of EducationCatholic University of St. AnthonyMurciaSpain

Personalised recommendations