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Ongoing Cumulative Chronic Stressors as Predictors of Well-Being in the Second Half of Life

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  • Yuval Palgi

Abstract

The main aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between ongoing cumulative chronic stressors (OCCS) and well-being during the second half of life. The sample comprised 7,268 participants who had completed the Health and Retirement Study 2006 psychosocial questionnaire and the full OCCS questionnaire. OCCS were evaluated as a predictor of Subjective Well-Being and Psychological Well-Being (PWB) using two measures: the number of events and the subjective evaluation attributed to the events by the participant. Additionally, the association between OCCS and well-being was evaluated in midlife (50–64), young-old (65–79), and old-old (80–104) participants. The results showed that the participant’s age as well as the number of OCCS perceived as “very upsetting” were strong predictors of well-being. The relationship between OCCS and PWB was weaker among old-old participants than among midlife and young-old participants. Although well-being is considered a stable trait-like personality dimension in the second half of life, the study’s findings suggest that as the number of OCCS was higher, and especially as the subjective evaluations attributed to an event are more upsetting, well-being was lower. Nevertheless, this lower level of well-being is partially moderated in the PWB measures by age. Old-old participants maintain a higher general positive sense of PWB than midlife and young-old participants in what was previously termed the “well-being paradox.” Implications of the results are discussed. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Yuval Palgi, 2013. "Ongoing Cumulative Chronic Stressors as Predictors of Well-Being in the Second Half of Life," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 1127-1144, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:14:y:2013:i:4:p:1127-1144
    DOI: 10.1007/s10902-012-9371-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Amit Shrira & Yuval Palgi & Menachem Ben-Ezra & Tal Spalter & Gitit Kavé & Dov Shmotkin, 2011. "For Better and for Worse: The Relationship between Future Expectations and Functioning in the Second Half of Life," The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, The Gerontological Society of America, vol. 66(2), pages 195-203.
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    2. Taylor, Adele M. & Ritchie, Stuart J. & Deary, Ian J., 2017. "Associations of intelligence across the life course with optimism and pessimism in older age," Intelligence, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 79-88.

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