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

  • Aine M. Ní Mhaoláin (a1), Damien Gallagher (a1), Henry O Connell (a1), A. V. Chin (a1), Irene Bruce (a1), Fiona Hamilton (a1), Erin Teehee (a1), Robert Coen (a1), Davis Coakley (a1) (a2), Conal Cunningham (a1) (a2), J. B. Walsh (a1) (a2) and Brian A. Lawlor (a1)...


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.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Dr Aine M. Ní Mhaoláin, MIRA, St James's Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland. Phone: +353 1 4284095. Fax: +353 1 4103487. Email:


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

  • Aine M. Ní Mhaoláin (a1), Damien Gallagher (a1), Henry O Connell (a1), A. V. Chin (a1), Irene Bruce (a1), Fiona Hamilton (a1), Erin Teehee (a1), Robert Coen (a1), Davis Coakley (a1) (a2), Conal Cunningham (a1) (a2), J. B. Walsh (a1) (a2) and Brian A. Lawlor (a1)...


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