Social Indicators Research

, Volume 117, Issue 2, pp 601–613 | Cite as

Predicting Life Satisfaction in the Oldest-Old: A Moderator Effects Study

  • J. M. Tomás
  • P. Sancho
  • M. Gutiérrez
  • L. Galiana
Article

Abstract

The demographic aging of the older population itself has turned out as an issue of great scope, accumulating a large amount of research in recent years. In this context, the prediction or explanation is of much interest. However, little research has studied this prediction when some factors, such as age, gender, and perceived health are controlled, and also few studies have compared these effects in young old and oldest old populations. Thus, the purpose of this study is to test, in a multivariate context, the predictive effects of variables measuring social support, dependence/active perceptions, and generativity on satisfaction with life, while controlling for age, marital status, educational level, gender, and perceived health; examining young old and oldest old similitudes and differences in a little studied population, the Angolan elderly. The sample was formed by 1,003 participants, 737 were young old and 266 were oldest old. To test for the effects, a hierarchical regression was built up, in which age and predictor’s interactions were included. Results provide support for some differences in the pattern of relationships hold by young old and oldest old, with social support emerging as the major predictor of life satisfaction during the old age.

Keywords

Aging Well-being Hierarchical regression Moderator effects Social support 

References

  1. Aboderin, I. (2005, April 11–13th). Understanding and responding to ageing, health, poverty and social change in Sub-Saharan Africa: A strategic framework and plan for research. Outcomes of the Oxford conference on research on ageing, health and poverty in Africa: Forging directions for the future. Oxford.Google Scholar
  2. Aboderin, I. (2008). Advancing health service provision for older persons and age-related non-communicable disease in sub-Saharan Africa: Identifying key information and training needs. Available online at http://www.instituteofageing.uct.ac.za/news/REPORT%20OF%20ABUJA%20DIALOGUE%20DRAFT.pdf. Accessed 30 Jan 2012.
  3. Aguinis, H. (2004). Regression analysis for categorical moderators. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  4. Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  5. Andrews, F. M. (1974). Social indicators of perceived life quality. Social Indicators Research, 1, 279–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Andrews, F. M., & Withey, S. B. (1976). Social indicators of well-being: America’s perception of life quality. New York: Plenum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Angelini, V., Cavapozzi, D., Corazzini, L., & Paccagnella, O. (2012). Age, health and life satisfaction among older Europeans. Social Indicators Research, 105, 293–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Arrindell, W. A., Heesink, J., & Feij, J. A. (1999). The satisfaction with life scale (SWLS): Appraisal with 1700 health young adults in the Netherlands. Personality and Individual Differences, 26, 815–826.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Baltes, P. B., & Baltes, M. M. (1990). Psychological perspectives on successful aging: The model of selective optimization with compensation. In P. B. Baltes & M. M. Baltes (Eds.), Successful aging: Perspectives from the behavioral sciences (pp. 1–34). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Baltes, P. B., & Smith, J. (2003). New frontiers in the future of aging: From successful aging of the young old to the dilemma of the fourth age. Gerontology, 49, 123–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bartolini, S., Bilancini, E., & Pugno, M. (2013). Did the decline in social capital decrease american happiness? A relational explanation of the happiness paradox. Available in http://www3.unisi.it/eventi/happiness/curriculum/bartolini_decline.pdf.
  12. Becchetti, L., Pelloni, A., & Rossetti, F. (2008). Relational goods, sociability, and happiness. KIKLOS, 61, 343–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Becchetti, L., Ricca, E. G., & Pelloni, A. (2012). The relationship between social leisure and life satisfaction: Causality and policy implications. Social Indicators Research, 108, 453–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Becchetti, L., Ricca, E. G., & Pelloni, A. (2013). The paradox of children and life satisfaction. Social Indicators Research, 111, 725–751.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Berg, A. I., Hassing, L. B., McClearn, G. E., & Johansson, B. (2006). What matters for life satisfaction in the oldest-old? Aging & Mental Health, 10(3), 257–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Berg, A. I., Hassing, L. B., Thorvaldsson, V., & Johansson, B. (2011). Personality and personal control make a difference for life satisfaction in the oldest-old: Findings in a longitudinal population-based study of individuals 80 and older. European Journal of Ageing, 8, 13–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Bishop, A. J., Martin, P., & Poon, L. (2006). Happiness and congruence in older adulthood: A structural model of life satisfaction. Aging & Mental Health, 10(5), 445–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Chen, F., & Short, S. E. (2008). Household context and subjective well-being among the oldest-old in China. Journal of Family Issues, 29, 1379–1403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Cheng, S. T. (2009). Generativity in later life: Perceived respect from younger generations as a determinant of goal disengagement and psychological well-being. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 64B(1), 45–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cox, E. O., Green, K. E., Seo, H., Inaba, M., & Quillen, A. A. (2006). Coping with late-life challenges: Development and validation of the care-receiver efficacy scale. The Gerontologist, 46(5), 640–649.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. de Gracia, M., Garre, J., & Marcó, M. (1999). Development and preliminary validation of the subjective percepction scale of aging (Desarrollo y validación preliminar de la Escala de Percepción Subjetiva del Envejecimiento-EPSE). Revista Española de Geriatría y Gerontología, 34(2), 92–100.Google Scholar
  22. Diener, E. (2000). Subjectivewell-being. American Psychologist, 55, 34–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Diener, E. (2009). SWLS Translations. University of Illinois at Urbana Champagne. Retrieved on January, 30th, 2011: http://s.psych.uiuc.edu/*ediener/SWLS.html.
  24. Diener, E., & Chan, M. Y. (2011). Happy people live longer: Subjective well-being contributes to health and longevity. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 3(1), 1–43.Google Scholar
  25. Diener, E., & Emmons, R. A. (1984). The independence of positive and negative affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47, 1105–1117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 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
  27. Efklides, A., Kalaitzidou, M., & Chankin, G. (2003). Subjective quality of life in old age in Greece. The effect of demographic factors, emotional state, and adaptation to aging. European Psychologist, 8(3), 178–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Enkvist, A., Ekström, H., & Elmstahl, S. (2012). What factors affect life satisfaction (LS) among the oldest-old? Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 54, 140–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Erikson, E. H. (1963). Childhood and society (2nd ed.). New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  30. Erikson, E. H. (1982). The life cycle completed: A review. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
  31. Ezeh, A., Chepngeno, G., Kasiira, A., & Woubalem, Z. (2006). The situation of older people in poor urban settings: The case of Nairobi, Kenya. In B. Cohen & J. Menken (Eds.), Aging in Sub-Saharan Africa: Recommendations for further research (pp. 189–213). Washington DC: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  32. 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
  33. Fujita, F., & Diener, E. (2005). Life satisfaction set point: Stability and change. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88(1), 158–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 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(3), 103–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Gwozdz, W., & Sousa-Poza, A. (2010). Ageing, health and life satisfaction among the oldest old: An analysis for Germany. Social Indicators Research, 97, 397–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hamarat, E., Thompson, D., Steele, D., Matheny, K., & Simons, C. (2002). Age differences in coping resources and satisfaction with life among middle-aged, young-old, and oldest-old adults. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 163(3), 360–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hansen, T., Slagsvold, B., & Moum, T. (2009). Childlessness and psychological well-being in midlife and old age: An examination of parental status effects across a range of outcomes. Social Indicators Research, 94, 343–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. HelpAge International (2002). HIV/AIDS and older people: The African situation. Nairobi: HelpAge International.Google Scholar
  39. Hilleras, P. K., Jorm, A. F., Herlitz, A., & Winblad, B. (2001). Life satisfaction among the very old: A survey on a cognitively intact sample aged 90 years or above. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 52(1), 71–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hollis, L. A. (1998). Sex comparisons in life satisfaction and psychosocial adjustment scores with an older adult sample: Examining the effect of sex role differences in older cohorts. Journal of Women & Aging, 10, 59–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hunt, S. M., McKenna, S. P., McEwen, J., Backett, E. M., Williams, J., & Papp, D. (1980). A quantitative approach to perceived health status: A validation study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 34, 281–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Idler, E. L., & Benyamini, Y. (1997). Self-rated health and mortality: A review of twenty seven community studies. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 38, 21–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. IMSERSO (2012). Men, aging, and health. http://www.imsersomayores.csic.es/documentos/documentos/omshombres-01.pdf. Accessed 23 Feb 2012.
  44. Inal, S., Subasi, F., Ay, S. M., & Hayran, O. (2007). The link between health-related behaviours and life satisfaction in elderly individuals who prefer institutional living. BMC Health Services Research, 7, 30–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) (2006). Report on the global AIDS epidemic. Geneva: UNAIDS.Google Scholar
  46. Kawada, T., Suzuki, S., Tsukioka, T., & Iesaki, S. (2006). Factors associated with perceived health of very old inhabitants of Japan. Gerontology, 52, 258–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Kodzi, I. A., Gyimah, S. O., Emina, J. B., & Ezeh, A. C. (2011). Understanding ageing in sub-Saharan Africa: Exploring the contributions of religious and secular social involvement to life satisfaction. Ageing & Society, 31, 455–474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Lang, F. R., & Carstensen, L. L. (2002). Time counts: Future time perspective, goals, and social relationships. Psychology and Aging, 17(1), 125–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Leung, B. W., Moneta, G. V., & McBride-Chang, C. (2005). Think positively: Optimism and life satisfaction in late life. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 61(4), 335–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Li, Q. (2005). Subjective well-being and mortality in Chinese oldest old. MPIDR working paper WP 2005–2011.Google Scholar
  51. Lucas, R. E., Diener, E., & Suh, E. (1996). Discriminant validity of well-being measures. Journal of Personality Assessment, 71, 3616–3628.Google Scholar
  52. Lyyra, T. M., Törmäkangas, T. M., Read, S., Rantanen, T., & Berg, S. (2006). Satisfaction with present life predicts survival in octogenarians. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 61B(6), P319–P326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. McAdams, D. P., Aubin, E. S., & Logan, L. (1993). Generativity among young, midlife, and older adults. Psychology and Aging, 8, 221–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 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
  55. Menec, V. H. (2003). The relation between everyday activities and successful aging: A 6-year longitudinal study. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 58B(2), S74–S82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Nilsson, I., Bernspang, B., Fisher, A. G., Gustafson, Y., & Löfgren, B. (2007). Occupational engagement and life satisfaction in the oldest-old: The Umeå 85 + study. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 27(4), 131–139.Google Scholar
  57. 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
  58. Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (1993). Review of the satisfaction with life scale. Psychological Assessment, 5, 164–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (2008). The satisfaction with life scale and the emerging construct of life satisfaction. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 3(2), 137–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Prieto-Flores, M., Moreno-Jiménez, A., Fernandez-Mayoralas, G., Rojo-Perez, F., & Forjaz, M. J. (2012). The relative contribution of health status and quality of life domains in subjective health in old age. Social Indicators Research, 106, 27–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Rowe, J. W., & Kahn, R. L. (1987). Human aging: Usual and successful. Science, 237, 143–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Rowe, J. W., & Kahn, R. L. (1997). Successful aging. The Gerontologist, 37, 433–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2001). To be happy or to be self-fulfilled: A review of research on hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 141–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Sancho, P., Galiana, L., Gutiérrez, M., Francisco, E. H., & Tomás, J. M. (2012). Validating the Portuguese version of the satisfaction with life scale in an elderly sample. Social Indicators Research, doi:10.1007/s11205-012-9994-y.
  65. Shaw, B. A., Krause, N., Chatters, L. M., Connell, C. M., & Ingersoll-Dayton, B. (2004). Emotional support from parents early life, aging, and health. Psychology and Aging, 19(1), 4–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 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
  67. Smith, J. (2001). Well-being and health from age 70 to 100: Findings from the Berlin aging study. European Review, 9(4), 461–477.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Smith, J., Borchelt, M., Maier, H., & Jopp, D. (2002). Health and well-being in the young old and oldest old. Journal of Social Issues, 58(4), 715–732.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Steverink, N., & Lindenberg, S. (2006). Which social needs are important for subjective well-being? What happens to them with aging? Psychology and Aging, 21, 281–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Stuart-Hamilton, I. (2011). An introduction to Gerontology. UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  71. Theurer, K., & Wister, A. (2010). Altruistic behavior and social capital as predictors of well-being among older Canadians. Aging & Society, 30, 157–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Unanka, G. O. (2002). Family support and health status of the elderly in Imostate of Nigeria. Journal of Social Issues, 58, 681–695.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) (2003). Africa’s orphaned generations. New York: UNICEF.Google Scholar
  74. Urrutia, A. I., Cornachione, M. A., Gaston, M. E., Ferragut, L., & Guzman, E. R. (2009). The culminating point of generativity in older women: Main aspects of their life narrative. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 10(3), 1–23.Google Scholar
  75. Von Faber, M., Bootsma, A., 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
  76. Walker, A. (2005). A European perspective on quality of life in old age. European Journal of Ageing, 2, 2–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Warr, P., Butcher, V., & Robertson, I. (2004). Activity and psychological well-being in older people. Aging & Mental Health, 8(2), 172–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. WHO (World Health Organization) (2012). Ageing and life course. http://www.who.int/ageing/en/. Accessed 27 Feb 2012.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. M. Tomás
    • 1
  • P. Sancho
    • 1
  • M. Gutiérrez
    • 2
  • L. Galiana
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Methodology for the Behavioral Sciences, Faculty of PsychologyUniversity of ValenciaValenciaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, Faculty of PsychologyUniversity of ValenciaValenciaSpain

Personalised recommendations