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Correlates of Happiness Among Older Spanish Institutionalised and Non-Institutionalised Adults

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  • Débora Godoy-Izquierdo

    ()

  • Raquel Lara Moreno
  • María Vázquez Pérez
  • Francisco Araque Serrano
  • Juan Godoy García
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    Abstract

    The overall objective of this study was to explore the current (i.e., at the time of the study) and past (i.e., over their lifetimes) happiness of 65-year-old and older men and women who had different personal and socio-demographic characteristics. We also investigated the role of affect balance and life satisfaction as sources of participants’ subjective well-being, as well as the contribution of other psychosocial variables, including self-efficacy, optimism, health and quality of life, stress, social support and leisure, and of socio-demographic conditions. Further, we examined the influence of institutionalisation on happiness and on the aforementioned psychosocial variables. Participants voluntarily completed self-reports regarding all of these variables. Participants’ current happiness (M = 6.6 on a 0–10 scale) was significantly lower than their past happiness (M = 7.7). The happiness of the institutionalised participants did not differ from that of the non-institutionalised participants, although significant differences were found for a number of psychosocial variables. Affect balance and life satisfaction were significant correlates and predictors of current happiness, which was also associated with many psychosocial variables and was further predicted by past happiness, health indicators and some life dimensions assessed as perceived sources of one’s own happiness, such as a sense of autonomy and independence. Our results highlight the importance of establishing both happiness and its correlates to develop interventions aimed at promoting subjective well-being in older people, given that, compared to earlier periods in life, happiness may be reduced in late adulthood. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10902-012-9335-5
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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 14 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 2 (April)
    Pages: 389-414

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:14:y:2013:i:2:p:389-414

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

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    Related research

    Keywords: Happiness; Subjective well-being; Elderly; Psychosocial and socio-demographic correlates; Institutionalisation;

    References

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    1. Chu Kim-Prieto & Ed Diener & Maya Tamir & Christie Scollon & Marissa Diener, 2005. "Integrating The Diverse Definitions of Happiness: A Time-Sequential Framework of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 261-300, 09.
    2. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Is well-being U-shaped over the life cycle?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1733-1749, April.
    3. Jan Bernheim & Peter Theuns & Mehrdad Mazaheri & Joeri Hofmans & Herbert Fliege & Matthias Rose, 2006. "The Potential of Anamnestic Comparative Self-Assessment (ACSA) to Reduce Bias in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 227-250, 06.
    4. Richard Easterlin, 2002. "Is Reported Happiness Five Years Ago Comparable to Present Happiness? A Cautionary Note," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 193-198, June.
    5. Holly Schiffrin & S. Nelson, 2010. "Stressed and Happy? Investigating the Relationship Between Happiness and Perceived Stress," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 33-39, March.
    6. Michael Hagerty, 2003. "Was Life Better in the “Good Old Days”? Intertemporal Judgments of Life Satisfaction," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 115-139, June.
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    8. Chaonan Chen, 2001. "Aging and Life Satisfaction," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 54(1), pages 57-79, April.
    9. Martin Pinquart, 2001. "Age Differences in Perceived Positive Affect, Negative Affect, and Affect Balance in Middle and Old Age," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 375-405, December.
    10. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
    11. Brendan Baird & Richard Lucas & M. Donnellan, 2010. "Life Satisfaction Across the Lifespan: Findings from Two Nationally Representative Panel Studies," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 99(2), pages 183-203, November.
    12. Adam Cohen, 2002. "The Importance of Spirituality in Well-Being for Jews and Christians," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 287-310, September.
    13. Teije Koopmans & Johanna Geleijnse & Frans Zitman & Erik Giltay, 2010. "Effects of Happiness on All-Cause Mortality During 15 Years of Follow-Up: The Arnhem Elderly Study," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 113-124, March.
    14. R. Veenhoven, 2008. "Healthy happiness: effects of happiness on physical health and the consequences for preventive health care," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 449-469, September.
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