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Subjective well-being amongst community-dwelling elders: what determines satisfaction with life? Findings from the Dublin Healthy Aging Study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 July 2011

Aine M. Ní Mhaoláin
Affiliation:
Mercer's Institute for Research on Ageing, St James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
Damien Gallagher
Affiliation:
Mercer's Institute for Research on Ageing, St James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
Henry O Connell
Affiliation:
Mercer's Institute for Research on Ageing, St James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
A. V. Chin
Affiliation:
Mercer's Institute for Research on Ageing, St James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
Irene Bruce
Affiliation:
Mercer's Institute for Research on Ageing, St James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
Fiona Hamilton
Affiliation:
Mercer's Institute for Research on Ageing, St James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
Erin Teehee
Affiliation:
Mercer's Institute for Research on Ageing, St James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
Robert Coen
Affiliation:
Mercer's Institute for Research on Ageing, St James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
Davis Coakley
Affiliation:
Mercer's Institute for Research on Ageing, St James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland Department of Medicine for the Elderly, St James's Hospital, James's Street, Dublin, Ireland
Conal Cunningham
Affiliation:
Mercer's Institute for Research on Ageing, St James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland Department of Medicine for the Elderly, St James's Hospital, James's Street, Dublin, Ireland
J. B. Walsh
Affiliation:
Mercer's Institute for Research on Ageing, St James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland Department of Medicine for the Elderly, St James's Hospital, James's Street, Dublin, Ireland
Brian A. Lawlor
Affiliation:
Mercer's Institute for Research on Ageing, St James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Background: Life satisfaction is a subjective expression of well-being and successful aging. Subjective well-being is a major determinant of health outcomes in older people. The aim of this study was to determine which factors predicted well-being in older people living in the community as measured by their satisfaction with life.

Methods: The relationship between life satisfaction, as measured by the Life Satisfaction Index (LSI-A) and physical, cognitive and demographic variables was examined in 466 older people living in the community using a stepwise regression model

Results: Depression, loneliness, neuroticism, extraversion, recent participation in physical activity, age and self-reported exhaustion, were the independent predictors of life satisfaction in our elderly cohort.

Conclusion: Subjective well-being, as measured by the Life Satisfaction Scale, is predicted by depression, loneliness, personality traits, recent participation in physical activity and self-reported exhaustion. The mental and emotional status of older individuals, as well as their engagement in physical activity, are as important as physical functionality when it comes to life satisfaction as a measure of well-being and successful aging. These areas represent key targets for intervention.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2011

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