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Change in Life Satisfaction Under Chronic Physical Multi-morbidity in Advanced Old Age: Potential and Limits of Adaptation

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  • Oliver Schilling

    ()

  • Hans-Werner Wahl

    ()

  • Frank Oswald

    ()

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    Abstract

    We examined the impact of chronic multi-morbidity on intra-individual change of life satisfaction (LS) in advanced old age, considering (1) adaptation in terms of stabilization or restoration of LS across accumulation of chronic conditions and (2) loss in functional competence to conduct activities of daily living (ADL) as potentially mediating the effect of chronic multi-morbidity on LS. Longitudinal data from a German sample (N = 451, aged 80–90 at baseline, 3 measurements covering 2.25 years) was analyzed by means of latent growth curve modeling. An adaptive curvilinear relationship between self-reported number of chronic conditions health constraints (NCC) at baseline and change in LS was confirmed, where the largest LS decline occurred under medium, but less worsening under highest levels of NCC. Change in ADL predicted LS change, but did not mediate the effects of NCC on LS. The findings confirmed the importance of both chronic multi-morbidity and loss of functional competence as independent predictors of decline in LS in very old age. Only limited evidence supported an adaptive stabilization of LS under accumulating levels of chronic multi-morbidity. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10902-011-9313-3
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Happiness Studies.

    Volume (Year): 14 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 19-36

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:14:y:2013:i:1:p:19-36

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/content/1389-4978

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    Related research

    Keywords: Advanced old age; Life satisfaction; Adaptation; Multi-morbidity; Functional competence;

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    1. Alex Michalos & Bruno Zumbo & Anita Hubley, 2000. "Health and the Quality of Life," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 245-286, September.
    2. Alex Michalos, 1985. "Multiple discrepancies theory (MDT)," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 347-413, May.
    3. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "What can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," IEW - Working Papers 080, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    4. Verbrugge, Lois M. & Jette, Alan M., 1994. "The disablement process," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 1-14, January.
    5. Ruut Veenhoven, 1996. "Developments in satisfaction-research," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 1-46, January.
    6. Stuck, Andreas E. & Walthert, Jutta M. & Nikolaus, Thorsten & Büla, Christophe J. & Hohmann, Christoph & Beck, John C., 1999. "Risk factors for functional status decline in community-living elderly people: a systematic literature review," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 445-469, February.
    7. Oliver Schilling, 2006. "Development of Life Satisfaction in Old Age: Another View on the "Paradox''," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 75(2), pages 241-271, 01.
    8. Scott Schieman & Gabriele Plickert, 2007. "Functional Limitations and Changes in Levels of Depression Among Older Adults: A Multiple-Hierarchy Stratification Perspective," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 62(1), pages S36-S42.
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