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Subjective Well-being in Older Adults: Current State and Gaps of Research

  • Dieter Ferring
  • Thomas Boll

Abstract

Subjective well-being (SWB) refers to an evaluation of an individual’s life from his or her own perspective. It contrasts sharply with evaluations made from the point of view of external observers (researchers or policymakers), which are based on objective criteria related to health, education, income or other aspects (Diener, 2006). Recently, prominent SWB researchers have argued forcefully in favour of supplementing traditional objective indicators of well-being or quality of life (such as economic indicators) with indicators of SWB (thus, people’s evaluations and feelings about their lives). This should provide the public and politicians with more complete and relevant information for public discussion and political decision-making (see Diener, Kesebir and Lucas, 2008). In our opinion, these arguments apply with equal measure to the quality of life and SWB of older adults. The following list is an overview of policy questions about these issues. The list comprises five sets of questions that will in part be answered in later sections of the chapter.

Keywords

Life Satisfaction Negative Affect Positive Affect Life Domain Older Adult 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Dieter Ferring / Thomas Boll 2010

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  • Dieter Ferring
  • Thomas Boll

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