Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Module VIII: The Happiness of Older Adults

bc talks aging

Happiness is often understood as our degree of overall satisfaction with our lives. Happiness, or life satisfaction, is different from other indicators that are often used to measure the quality of life of older adults. Happiness captures people's satisfaction with their life according to what they consider important. This module will provide an overview of happiness in older adults, why it is important, and what drives the happiness of older adults. The presenter will also show that the factors associated with the happiness of older adults can vary across ethnic and racial groups, and that there are short, feasible interventions that have effectively shown to improve the life satisfaction of older adults.

 
The Happiness of Older Adults

Featuring Dr. Rocio Calvo, Associate Professor, Boston College School of Social Work.

 



References:

  • Angel, R. (2009). Structural and Cultural Factors in Successful Aging Among
  • Older Hispanics. Family Community Health 32(10), S46–S57.
  • Boyle, P. A., Buchman, A.S., Barnes, L.L., Bennett, D.A. (2010).  Effect of a purpose in life on risk of incident Alzheimer disease and mild cognitive impairment in community-dwelling older persons. Archives of Gerontology Psychiatry, 67(3), 304-310.
  • Diener, E., & Chan, M. Y. (2011). Happy people live longer: Subjective well-being contributes to health and longevity. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 3, 1–43.
  • Dunn, J., Ng, S.K., Breitbart, W., Aitken, J., Youl, P., Baade, P.D., & Chambers, S.K. (2013). Health-related quality of life and life satisfaction in colorectal cancer survivors: Trajectories of adjustment. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 11(46).
  • Friedman EM, Ruini C, Foy R, Jaros L, Sampson H, Ryff CD. Lighten up! A community-based group intervention to promote psychological well-being in older adults. (2017) Aging Ment Health, 21(2), 199-205.
  • Frijters, I., Beatton, T. (2012): The mystery of the U-shaped relationship between happiness and age. J. Econ. Behav. Organ. 82(2), 525–542
  • George, L.K. (2010) Still happy after all these years: Research frontiers on subjective well being in later life. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 65B(3) 331-S339
  • Killen, A., & Macaskill, A. (2015). Using a gratitude intervention to enhance well-being in older adults. Journal of Happiness Studies, 16, 947–964.
  • Kim, E., Park, N, Sun, J., Smith, J. & Peterson, C. (2014). Life satisfaction and frequency of doctor visits. Psychosomatic Medicine, 76, 86-93.
  • Markides, K.S., & Coreil. (1986). The health of Hispanics in the Southwestern United States. An epidemiologic paradox. Public Health Reports, 101(3), 353-265.
  • Matz-Costa, C., Besen, E., James, J., & Pitt-Catsouphes, M. (2014). Differential impact of multiple levels of productive activity engagement on psychological well-being in middle and later life. The Gerontologist, 54(2): 277-289.
  • Moons, P., Budts, W., & De Geest, S. (2006). Critique on the conceptualization of quality of life: A review and evaluation of different conceptual approaches. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 43(7), 891-901.
  • Nes, R.B., Czajkowski, N.O., Roysamb, E., Orstavik, R.E., Tambs, K., & Reichborn-Kjennerud, T. (2012). Major depression and life satisfaction: A population-based twin study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 144(1-2), 51-58.
  • Ostir, G.V., Markides, K.S., Black, S.A., & Goodwin, J.S. (2000). Emotional well-being predicts subsequent functional independence and survival. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 48(5), 473-478.
  • Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (1993). Review of the satisfaction with life scale. Psychological Assessment, 5(2), 164–172.
  • St. John, P. D. Mackenzie, C. & Menec, V. (2015). Does life satisfaction predict five-year mortality in community-living older adults? Aging & Mental Health, doi: 10.1080/13607863.2014.938602
  • Sutin, A.R., Stephan, Y., Carretta, H., Terracciano, A. (2015) Perceived discrimination and physical, cognitive, and emotional health in older adulthood. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 23, 171–179.