Psychological well-being in life-span

Author/s Veronica Muffato, Alessandra Cantarella, Erika Borella, Rossana De Beni
Publishing Year 2015 Issue 2015/1 Language Italian
Pages 18 P. 175-192 File size 286 KB
DOI 10.3280/RIP2015-001011
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

Since the 1980s, with the emergence of positive psychology, researchers have shifted their attention from psychological disorders to psychological wellbeing, also investigating variables that could enhance the latter. A clear definition of the construct is still lacking, but it seems possible to preserve appropriate levels of psychological wellbeing even in adverse conditions or in times of life that are often seen in a negative light, as in aging. Several studies have shown that wellbeing can be preserved, and even increase with aging, in what is called the "wellbeing paradox in aging". Results may diverge, however, depending on the study design used and on the aspects considered as components of the wellbeing construct. The aim of this study was to investigate the stability or variability of the levels of wellbeing in a sample of participants from 20 to 89 years old. The assessment was conducted using the Ben-SSC Questionnaire, which measures three key aspects, i.e. personal satisfaction, coping strategies, and emotional competences. Quality of life was assessed too, using the short version of the WHOQOL. Our results showed an improvement in psychological wellbeing with time, older adults reporting higher levels than adults from 20 to 30 years old. Possible predictors of psychological wellbeing (using the WHOQOL factors) were also investigated using regression analysis. Overall, our findings indicate that, contrary to negative stereotypes, suitable levels of wellbeing and quality of life can be preserved with aging.

Keywords: Well-being, aging, life-span, age-related differences.

  1. Baird, B.M., Lucas, R.E., & Donnellan, M.B. (2010). Life satisfaction across the lifespan: Findings from two nationally representative panel studies. Social Indicators Research, 99(2), 183-203. DOI: 10.1007/s11205-010-9584-9
  2. Baltes, P.B. (1987). Theoretical propositions of life-span developmental psychology: On the dynamics between growth and decline. Developmental psychology, 23(5), 611-626. DOI: 10.1037/0012-1649.23.5.611
  3. Baltes, P.B., & Baltes, M.M. (1990). Psychological perspectives on successful aging: The model of selective optimization with compensation. Successful aging: Perspectives from the behavioral sciences, 1, 1-34. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511665684.003
  4. Baltes, P.B., & Baltes, M.M. (Eds.) (1990). Successful aging: Perspectives from the behavioral sciences (Vol. 4). Cambridge University Press.
  5. Birditt, K.S., & Fingerman, K.L. (2005). Do we get better at picking our battles? Age group differences in descriptions of behavioral reactions to interpersonal tensions. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 60(3), 121-128. DOI: 10.1093/geronb/60.3.P121
  6. Carstensen, L.L., Isaacowitz, D.M., & Charles, S.T. (1999). Taking time seriously: A theory of socioemotional selectivity. American Psychologist, 54(3), 165-181. DOI: 10.1037//0003-066X.54.3.165
  7. Charles, S. T. (2010). Strength and vulnerability integration: a model of emotional well-being across adulthood. Psychological bulletin, 136(6), 1068-91. DOI: 10.1037/a0021232
  8. Charles, S.T., Reynolds, C.A., & Gatz, M. (2001). Age-related differences and change in positive and negative affect over 23 years. Journal of personality and social psychology, 80(1), 136-150. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.80.1.136
  9. Charles, S., & Carstensen, L.L. (2010). Social and emotional aging. Annual review of psychology, 61, 383-409. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.psych.093008.100448
  10. Chida, Y., & Steptoe, A. (2008). Positive psychological well-being and mortality: a quantitative review of prospective observational studies. Psychosomatic medicine, 70(7), 741-756. DOI: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e31818105ba
  11. De Beni, R., Borella, E., Carretti, B., Marigo, C., & Nava, L.A. (2008). BAC. Portfolio per la valutazione del Ben-essere e delle abilita cognitive nell’eta adulta e avanzata. Firenze: Giunti OS.
  12. De Girolamo, G., Becchi, M. A., Coppa, F. S., D’Addario, A., Daru, E., De Leo, D., Galassi, L., Manganelli, L., Marson, C., Neri, G., Rucci, P., & Scocco, P. (2001). Il progetto italiano WHOQOL. Una rassegna dei risultati. In G. De Girolamo, M.A. Becchi, F.S. Coppa, D. De Leo, G. Neri, P. Rucci & P. Scocco, Salute e qualita della vita. Torino: Centro Scientifico. Diener, E., & Suh, M.E. (1998). Subjective well-being and age: An international analysis. Springer Publishing Co.
  13. Diener, E., Gohm, C.L., Suh, E., & Oishi, S. (2000). Similarity of the relations between marital status and subjective well-being across cultures. Journal of cross-cultural psychology, 31(4), 419-436. DOI: 10.1177/0022022100031004001
  14. Diener, E., Suh, E.M., Lucas, R.E., & Smith, H.L. (1999). Subjective well-being: Three decades of progress. Psychological bulletin, 125(2), 276-302. DOI: 10.1037//0033-2909.125.2.276
  15. English, T., & Carstensen, L.L. (2014). Selective narrowing of social networks across adulthood is associated with improved emotional experience in daily life. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 38(2), 195-202. DOI: 10.1177/0165025413515404
  16. Ferring, D., & Filipp, S.H. (1997). Subjektives Wohlbefinden im Alter: Strukturund Stabilitatsanalysen. Psychologische Beitrage.
  17. Ferring, D., Balducci, C., Burholt, V., Wenger, C., Thissen, F., Weber, G., & Hallberg, I. (2004). Life satisfaction of older people in six European countries: Findings from the European study on adult well-being. European Journal of Ageing,1(1), 15-25. DOI: 10.1007/s10433-004-0011-4
  18. Folstein, M.F., Folstein, S.E., & McHugh, P.R. (1975). “Mini-mental state”: a practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. Journal of psychiatric research, 12(3), 189-198. DOI: 10.1016/0022-3956(75)90026-6
  19. Fredrickson, B.L., & Losada, M.F. (2005). Positive affect and the complex dynamics of human flourishing. American Psychologist, 60(7), 678-88. DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.60.7.678
  20. Fredrickson, B.L., Grewen, K.M., Coffey, K.A., Algoe, S.B., Firestine, A.M., Arevalo, J.M., & Cole, S.W. (2013). A functional genomic perspective on human well-being. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(33), 13684-13689. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1305419110
  21. Freund, A.M., & Baltes, P.B. (1998). Selection, optimization, and compensation as strategies of life management: correlations with subjective indicators of successful aging. Psychology and aging, 13(4), 531-543.
  22. Freund, A.M., & Baltes, P.B. (2002). Life-management strategies of selection, optimization and compensation: Measurement by self-report and construct validity. Journal of personality and social psychology, 82(4), 642-62. DOI: 10.1037//0022-3514.82.4.642
  23. Gable, S.L., & Haidt, J. (2005). What (and why) is positive psychology? Review of general psychology,9(2), 103-110. DOI: 10.1037/1089-2680.9.2.103
  24. Graham, C., Eggers, A., & Sukhtankar, S. (2004). Does happiness pay?: An exploration based on panel data from Russia. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,55(3), 319-342. DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2003.09.002.Hamarat,E.,Thompson,D.,Steele,D.,Matheny,K.,&Simons,C.(2002).Agedifferencesincopingresourcesandsatisfactionwithlifeamongmiddle-aged,young-old,andoldest-oldadults.TheJournalofgeneticpsychology,163(3),360-367.DOI:10.1080/00221320209598689
  25. John, O.P., & Gross, J.J. (2004). Healthy and unhealthy emotion regulation: Personality processes, individual differences, and life span development. Journal of personality, 72(6), 1301-1334. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2004.00298.x
  26. Judge, T.A., & Larsen, R.J. (2001). Dispositional affect and job satisfaction: A review and theoretical extension. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 86(1), 67-98. DOI: 10.1006/obhd.2001.2973
  27. Kessler, E.M., & Staudinger, U.M. (2009). Affective experience in adulthood and old age: The role of affective arousal and perceived affect regulation. Psychology and aging, 24(2), 349-62. DOI: 10.1037/a0015352
  28. Keyes, C.L. (2007). Promoting and protecting mental health as flourishing: a complementary strategy for improving national mental health. American Psychologist, 62(2), 95-108. DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.62.2.95
  29. Keyes, C.L. (2010). Flourishing. John Wiley & Sons.
  30. Kunzmann, U., Little, T.D., & Smith, J. (2000). Is age-related stability of subjective well-being a paradox? Cross-sectional and longitudinal evidence from the Berlin Aging Study. Psychology and aging, 15(3), 511-26.
  31. Livingston, G., Minushkin, S., & Cohn, D.V. (2008). Hispanics and health care in the United States: Access, information and knowledge. Washington, DC: Pew Hispanic Center.
  32. Lockenhoff, C.E., & Carstensen, L.L. (2004). Socioemotional selectivity theory, aging, and health: The increasingly delicate balance between regulating emotions and making tough choices. Journal of personality, 72(6), 1395-1424. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2004.00301.x
  33. McAdams, K.K., Lucas, R.E., & Donnellan, M.B. (2012). The role of domain satisfaction in explaining the paradoxical association between life satisfaction and age. Social indicators research, 109(2), 295-303. DOI: 10.1007/s11205-011-9903-9
  34. Mroczek, D.K., & Spiro III, A. (2005). Change in life satisfaction during adulthood: findings from the veterans affairs normative aging study. Journal of personality and social psychology, 88(1), 189.
  35. Myers, D.G., & Diener, E. (1995). Who is happy?.Psychological science, 6(1), 10-19. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.1995.tb00298.x
  36. Phillips, L.H., Henry, J.D., Hosie, J.A., & Milne, A. B. (2006). Age, anger regulation and well-being. Aging and Mental Health, 10(3), 250-256. DOI: 10.1080/13607860500310385
  37. Rocke, C., Li, S.C., & Smith, J. (2009). Intraindividual variability in positive and negative affect over 45 days: do older adults fluctuate less than young adults?. Psychology and aging, 24(4), 863. DOI: 10.1037/a0016276
  38. Ryff, C.D. (1989). Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being. Journal of personality and social psychology,
  39. 57(6), 1069-1081. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.57.6.1069.Ryff,C.D.(1995).Psychologicalwell-beinginadultlife.Currentdirectionsinpsychologicalscience,99-104.DOI:10.1111/1467-8721.ep10772395
  40. Seligman, M.E P., Steen, T., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive psychology progress: Empirical validation of interventions. American Psychologist, 60(5), 410-421. DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.60.5.410
  41. Seligman, M.E.P. (2002). Authentic happiness: Using the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfillment. Simon and Schuster.
  42. Seligman, M.E.P. (1998). Learned Optimism. New York: Pocket Books. Skevington, S.M., Dehner, S., Gillison, F.B., McGrath, E.J., & Lovell, C.R. (2014). How appropriate is the WHOQOL-BREF for assessing the quality of life of adolescents? Psychology & health, 29(3), 297-317. DOI: 10.1080/08870446.2013.845668
  43. Steca, P. (2005). Il potenziamento delle risorse. Psicologia contemporanea, 190, 19-25.
  44. Stutzer, A., & Frey, B. S. (2006). Does marriage make people happy, or do happy people get married? The Journal of Socio-Economics, 35(2), 326-347.
  45. Veenhoven, R. (1997). Advances in understanding happiness. Revue Quebecoise de psychologie, 18(2), 29-74.
  46. Veenhoven, R. (2000). Freedom and happiness: A comparative study in forty-four nations in the early 1990s. Culture and subjective well-being, 257-288.

  • Stili educativi genitoriali, benessere scolastico e rendimento scolastico in adolescenza Maria Giulia Olivari, Eleonora Mascheroni, Gaia Cuccì, Emanuela Confalonieri, in RICERCHE DI PSICOLOGIA 1/2019 pp.9
    DOI: 10.3280/RIP2019-001001

Veronica Muffato, Alessandra Cantarella, Erika Borella, Rossana De Beni, Ben-essere nell’arco di vita in "RICERCHE DI PSICOLOGIA " 1/2015, pp 175-192, DOI: 10.3280/RIP2015-001011