IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Resilience Indicators of Post Retirement Well-Being

Listed author(s):
  • Elsa Marziali
  • Peter Donahue
Registered author(s):

    This study compares and contrasts criteria for determining how individuals cope with adverse life events during the aging process. From a pool of 140 interviews with older men and women who had experienced a significantly stressful life event (either widowhood or involuntary retirement), a cohort of 26 subject interviews were selected. In random order, interviews were rated on two dimensions: poor versus good financial status, and positive versus negative appraisals of stress events. Interviews continued to be rated until 13 met criteria for successful outcomes (good financial status and positive appraisals of experienced stress) and 13 more met criteria for unsuccessful outcomes (poor financial status and negative appraisals of stress). A second rater, blind to the initial classification, coded and classified the interviews on positive versus negative indicators of the availability of supportive interpersonal relationships . There was 69% agreement between the two classification systems on successful versus unsuccessful outcomes. On eight cases the raters disagreed in a consistent fashion; the first rater classified all eight cases as unsuccessful in contrast to the second rater who rated the same cases as successful. These eight cases were reassessed using an expanded coding system that targets indicators of resilience as predictors of well being. This descriptive reanalysis of the cases showed that all of the subjects were well aware of their limited financial status but had a balanced appraisal of life challenges overall. Analyses of their life narratives showed evidence of resilience (self-reliance, availability of close interpersonal relationships, accommodative modes of coping, internal control, perseverance, viewed change as a challenge, and a spiritual convergent view of mind, body, and soul in the face of adversity). In summary, while poor financial status has negative consequences for coping with major life transitions, aging individuals who are resilient and hardy and who apply a spiritual lens for understanding the meanings of adversity show greater capacity for achieving and maintaining well-being.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers with number 49.

    in new window

    Length: 43 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2001
    Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:49
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4M4

    Phone: (905) 525-9140 ext. 22765
    Fax: (905) 521-8232
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:49. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.