Subjective wellbeing (SWB) is a core component of healthy aging to be promoted among older adults. This study aims to analyze whether there are subgroups with different trajectories in the main components of SWB (i.e. positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction) within the older population, and identify potential determinants of these heterogeneous trajectories. We analyzed data on 1,189 Spanish older adults aged 50 +, collected as part of a nationwide representative longitudinal survey. We used a growth mixture modeling approach to identify heterogeneous trajectories within each SWB component, and logistic and multinomial regressions to explore the associated determinants. In addition to a predominant trajectory with above neutral, relatively stable scores on each SWB outcome, we found an additional trajectory with worse scores throughout all older adulthood for all SWB components, alongside a trajectory with a better life satisfaction. Depression, loneliness, disability, income, education, marital status, physical activity, and occupational status were found to be significant determinants of the membership to different trajectories. Our results suggest that there is no unitary trajectory of SWB in the older population regarding any of its components. Moreover, they point at the appropriateness of programs aimed at promoting or counteracting the aspects that may respectively prevent or facilitate pertaining to the trajectories with worst long-term outcomes as an effective way of enhancing healthy aging.
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Data, analytic methods, and study materials are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
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This work was supported by the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (Grant No. 223071); Instituto de Salud Carlos III (Grant Nos. PS09/00295, PS09/01845, PI12/01490, PI13/00059, PI16/00218, PI16/01073); the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness ACI Promociona (Grant No. ACI2009-1010); the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sport (Grant No. FPU15/02634 to D.M.A., FPU16/03276 to J.F.); the Sara Borrel postdoctoral program from Instituto de Salud Carlos III (Grant No. CD18/00099 to E.L.), and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental (CIBERSAM).
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Moreno-Agostino, D., de la Torre-Luque, A., de la Fuente, J. et al. Determinants of Subjective Wellbeing Trajectories in Older Adults: A Growth Mixture Modeling Approach. J Happiness Stud 22, 709–726 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-020-00248-2
- Latent class
- Day reconstruction method
- Healthy aging
- Longitudinal study