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The importance of national levels of eudaimonic well-being to life satisfaction in old age: a global study

Abstract

Purpose

The present study sought to test the hypotheses that the relationship between age and life satisfaction is moderated by five societal factors: (1) eudaimonic well-being (i.e., psycho-social functioning), (2) economic quality, (3) healthcare system efficiency, (4) globalization, and (5) national age.

Methods

This study was a cross-sectional analysis based on data from the Gallup World Poll. The sample consisted of 264,123 individuals across 133 countries. Multi-level modeling was used to analyze the data.

Results

The results showed that out of the five moderators, only national levels of eudaimonic well-being robustly moderated the relationship between age and life satisfaction. The relationship between age and life satisfaction was negative in countries with low and moderate levels of eudaimonic well-being, and non-significant in countries with high levels of eudaimonic well-being.

Conclusion

It seems that a non-financial way to maintain higher levels of life satisfaction in aging populations is to enhance eudaimonic well-being. This can be achieved through interventions and policies targeted at individuals, groups, and organizations.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    The moderation analysis was repeated with a different index of national age, and the moderation was again found to be non-significant. The percentage of each country’s population aged 65 and above in 2015 was used as the alternative index of national age (obtained from https://data.worldbank.org). The correlation between the index used in the present study and the alternative index was 0.897 (p < .001, N = 133), suggesting a high level of consistency.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2017S1A3A2066611).

Author information

Correspondence to Mohsen Joshanloo.

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The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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The data used in this study have been collected by Gallup. All procedures of data collection and data management are supervised by Gallup. The data are anonymized.

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Joshanloo, M., Sirgy, M.J. & Park, J. The importance of national levels of eudaimonic well-being to life satisfaction in old age: a global study. Qual Life Res 27, 3303–3311 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11136-018-1977-2

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Keywords

  • Life satisfaction
  • Age
  • Eudaimonic well-being
  • Globalization
  • Healthcare