Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5d6d958fb5-jkwcl Total loading time: 0.308 Render date: 2022-11-29T05:57:38.765Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

Older adults' spirituality and life satisfaction: a longitudinal test of social support and sense of coherence as mediating mechanisms

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 July 2012

SEAN COWLISHAW*
Affiliation:
School of Primary Health Care, Monash University, Notting Hill, Victoria, Australia.
SYLVIA NIELE
Affiliation:
School of Primary Health Care, Monash University, Notting Hill, Victoria, Australia.
KAREN TESHUVA
Affiliation:
Lincoln Centre for Research on Ageing, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia.
COLETTE BROWNING
Affiliation:
School of Primary Health Care, Monash University, Notting Hill, Victoria, Australia.
HAL KENDIG
Affiliation:
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Lidcombe, NSW, Australia.
*
Address for correspondence: Sean Cowlishaw, School of Primary Health Care, Monash University, Notting Hill, 3168, Victoria, Australia. E-mail: sean.cowlishaw@monash.edu

Abstract

Spirituality is proposed to be a component of successful ageing and has been shown to predict wellbeing in old age. There has been conceptual discussion of possible mechanisms that link spirituality with positive psychological functioning in older adults, but few empirical examinations of these linking mechanisms over time. The current study examined the role of Antonovsky's Sense of Coherence (SOC) and social support in mediating the effects of spirituality on life satisfaction in older participants over a four-year period. The study used a cross-lagged panel analysis to evaluate longitudinal mediation within a path analysis framework. Results showed that the meaningfulness dimension of SOC mediated the influence of spirituality on life satisfaction over time, suggesting that spirituality may influence older adults' experience and perception of life events, leading to a more positive appraisal of these events as meaningful. Social support was not found to mediate the pathway between spirituality and life satisfaction. This study may be the first to examine the link between spirituality, sense of coherence, social support and wellbeing, as measured by life satisfaction, using longitudinal data from a community sample of older adults. The study provides evidence for the positive role of spirituality in the lives of older people. This is an area that requires further examination in models of successful ageing.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Antonovsky, A. 1979. Health, Stress, and Coping. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.Google Scholar
Antonovsky, A. 1987. Unraveling the Mystery of Health. How People Manage Stress and Stay Well. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.Google Scholar
Antonovsky, A. 1993. The structure and properties of the Sense of Coherence scale. Social Science & Medicine, 36, 6, 725–33.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bjorck, J. P. and Thurman, J. W. 2007. Negative life events, patterns of positive and negative religious coping, and psychological functioning. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 46, 2, 159–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bowling, A. and Dieppe, P. 2005. What is successful ageing and who should define it? British Medical Journal, 331, 7531, 1548–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Briggs, S. R. and Cheek, J. M. 1986. The role of factor analysis in the development and evaluation of personality scales. Journal of Personality, 54, 1, 106–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Browning, C. and Kendig, H. 2010. The Melbourne Longitudinal Studies on Healthy Ageing program (MELSHA). International Journal of Epidemiology, 39, 5, e17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cadge, W., Freese, J. and Christakis, A. 2008. The provision of hospital chaplaincy in the United States: A national overview. Southern Medical Journal, 101, 6, 626–30.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Campbell, A., Converse, P. and Rodgers, W. 1976. The Quality of American Life: Perceptions, Evaluations, and Satisfactions. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
Chatfield, M. D., Brayne, C. E. and Matthews, F. E. 2005. A systematic literature review of attrition between waves in longitudinal studies in the elderly shows a consistent pattern of dropout between differing studies. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 58, 1, 1319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cole, D. A. and Maxwell, S. E. 2003. Testing meditational models with longitudinal data: Questions and tips in the use of structural equation modeling. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 112, 4, 558–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Coleman, P. G., Ivani-Chalian, C. and Robinson, M. 2004. Religious attitudes among British older people: Stability and change in a 20-year longitudinal study. Ageing & Society, 24, 2, 167188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cox, B. D., Blaxter, M., Buckle, A. L. J., Fenner, N. P., Golding, J. F., Gore, M., Huppert, F. A., Nickson, J., Roth, M., Stark, J., Wadsworth, M. E. J. and Whichelow, M. J. 1987. The Health and Lifestyle Survey: A Preliminary Report of a Nationwide Survey of the Physical and Mental Health, Attitudes and Lifestyle of a Random Sample of 9003 British Adults. Cambridge: Health Promotion Research Trust.Google Scholar
Crowther, M., Parker, M., Larimore, W., Achenbaum, A. and Koenig, H. 2002. Rowe and Kahn's model of successful aging revisited: spirituality the missing construct. The Gerontologist, 42, 5, 613–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
D'Souza, R. 2003. Incorporating a spiritual history into a psychiatric assessment. Australasian Psychiatry, 11, 1, 1215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
D'Souza, R. and Rodrigo, A. 2004. Spiritually augmented cognitive behavioural therapy. Australasian Psychiatry, 12, 2, 148–52.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Depp, C. A., Glatt, S. J. and Jeste, D. V. 2007. Recent advances in research on successful or healthy aging. Current Psychiatry Reports, 9, 1, 713.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Depp, C. A. and Jeste, D. V. 2006. Definitions and predictors of successful aging: a comprehensive review of larger quantitative studies. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 14, 1, 620.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Depp, C., Vahia, I. V. and Jeste, D. 2010. Successful aging: focus on cognitive and emotional health. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 6, 527–50.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Diener, E. 2009. Subjective well-being. In Diener, E. (ed.), The Science of Well-being: The Collected Works of Ed Diener. New York: Springer Science + Business Media.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Duckworth, A. L., Steen, T. A. and Seligman, M. E. P. 2005. Positive psychology in clinical practice. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 1, 629–51.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ellison, C. G. and George, L. K. 1994. Religious involvement, social ties, and social support in a southeastern community. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 33, 1, 4661.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ellison, C. G. and Levin, J. S. 1998. The religion-health connection: evidence, theory, and future directions. Health Education and Behavior, 25, 6, 700–20.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Emmons, R. A. and Paloutzian, R. F. 2003. The psychology of religion. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 377402.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Enders, C. 2001. A primer on maximum likelihood algorithms available for use with missing data. Structural Equation Modeling, 8, 1, 128–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Feldt, T. and Rasku, A. 1998. The structure of Antonovsky's Orientation to Life Questionnaire. Personality and Individual Differences, 25, 3, 505–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Frazier, P. A., Tix, A. P. and Baron, K. E. 2004. Testing moderator and mediator effects in counseling psychology research. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 51, 1, 115–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fries, J. F. 2002. Successful aging – an emerging paradigm of gerontology. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, 18, 3, 371–82.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
George, L. K., Larson, D. B., Koenig, H. G. and McCullough, M. E. 2000. Spirituality and health: what we know, what we need to know. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 19, 1, 102–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hill, P. C. and Pargament, K. I. 2003. Advances in the conceptualization and measurement of religion and spirituality: implications for physical and mental health research. American Psychologist, 58, 1, 664–74.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hill, P. C., Pargament, K. I., Hood, R. W., McCullough, M. E., Swyers, J. P., Larson, D. B. and Zinnbauer, B. J. 2000. Conceptualizing religion and spirituality: points of commonality, points of departure. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 30, 1, 5277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hu, L. T. and Bentler, P. M. 1999. Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6, 1, 155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Idler, E. L. 1987. Religious involvement and the health of the elderly: some hypotheses and an initial test. Social Forces, 66, 1, 226–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
James, A. and Wells, A. 2003. Religion and mental health: towards a cognitive-behavioural framework. British Journal of Health Psychology, 8, 3, 359–76.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kirby, S. E., Coleman, P. G. and Daley, D. 2004. Spirituality and well-being in frail and nonfrail older adults. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 59B, 3, 123–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Koenig, H. G. 2004. Religion, spirituality, and medicine: research findings and implications for clinical practice. The Southern Medical Journal, 97, 12, 1194–200.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kunzmann, U., Little, T. D. and 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.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Larson, D. B., Sawyers, J. P. and McCullough, M. E. 1998. Scientific Research on Spirituality and Health: A Report Based on the Scientific Progress in Spirituality Conferences. John M. Templeton Foundation, New York.Google Scholar
Law, R. W. and Sbarra, D. A. 2009. The effects of church attendance and marital status on the longitudinal trajectories of depressed mood among older adults. Journal of Aging and Health, 21, 6, 803–23.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lawler-Row, K. A. and Elliott, J. 2009. The role of religious activity and spirituality in the health and well-being of older adults. Journal of Health Psychology, 14, 1, 4352.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lo, B., Quill, T. and Tulsky, J. 1999. Discussing palliative care with patients. Annals of Internal Medicine, 130, 9, 744–9.Google ScholarPubMed
Marcoen, A. 1994. Spirituality and personal well-being in old age. Ageing & Society, 14, 4, 521–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Martens, M. P. and Haase, R. F. 2006. Advanced applications of structural equation modeling in counseling psychology research. Counseling Psychologist, 34, 6, 878911.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McLaughlin, D., Vagenas, D., Pachana, N. A., Begum, N. and Dobson, A. 2010. Gender differences in social network size and satisfaction in adults in their 70 s. Journal of Health Psychology, 15, 5, 671–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Murphy, T. E., Han, L., Allore, H. G., Peduzzi, P. N., Gill, T. M. and Lin, H. 2011. Treatment of death in the analysis of longitudinal studies of gerontological outcomes. Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, 66A, 1, 109–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Muthen, L. K. and Muthen, B. O. 2010. Mplus User's Guide. Sixth edition, Muthen & Muthen, Los Angeles.Google Scholar
National Secular Society 2011. Costing the Heavens: Chaplaincy Services in English NHS Provider Trusts 2009/10. Available online at http://www.secularism.org.uk/uploads/nss-chaplaincy-report-2011.pdf [Accessed 26 September 2011].Google Scholar
Nooney, J. and Woodrum, E. 2002. Religious coping and church-based social supports as predictors of mental health outcomes: testing a conceptual model. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 41, 2, 359–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Orton, M. J. 2008. Transforming chaplaincy: the emergence of a healthcare pastoral care for a post-modern world. Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy, 15, 2, 114–31.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Pargament, K. I. 1997. The Psychology of Religion and Coping: Theory, Research, Practice. Guilford Press, New York.Google Scholar
Pargament, K. I., Smith, B. W., Koenig, H. G. and Perez, L. 1998. Patterns of positive and negative religious coping with major life stressors. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 37, 4, 710–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Park, C. L. 2007. Religiousness/spirituality and health: a meaning systems perspective. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 30, 4, 319–28.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Park, N., Peterson, C. and Seligman, M. 2004. Strengths of character and well-being. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23, 5, 603–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pinquart, M. and Sorensen, S. 2000. Influences of socioeconomic status, social network, and competence on subjective well-being in later life: a meta-analysis. Psychology and Aging, 15, 2, 187224.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Reed, P. G. 1987. Spirituality and well-being in terminally ill hospitalized adults. Research in Nursing and Health, 10, 5, 335–44.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rowe, J. W. and Kahn, R. L. 1987. Human aging: usual and successful. Science, 237, 4811, 143–9.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ryff, C. 1989. Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 6, 1069–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schafer, J. L. and Graham, J. W. 2002. Missing data: our view of the state of the art. Psychological Methods, 7, 2, 147–77.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Seligman, M. E. P. and Csikszentmihalyi, M. 2000. Positive psychology: an introduction. American Psychologist, 55, 1, 514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Silvestri, G. A., Knittig, S., Zoller, J. S. and Nietert, P. J. 2003. Importance of faith on medical decisions regarding cancer care. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 21, 7, 1379–82.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Strawbridge, W. J., Wallhagen, M. I. and Cohen, R. D. 2002. Successful aging and wellbeing: self-rated compared with Rowe and Kahn. The Gerontologist, 42, 6, 727–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Surtees, P. G., Wainwright, N. W. and Khaw, K. 2006. Resilience, misfortune, and mortality: evidence that sense of coherence is a marker of social stress adaptive capacity. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 61, 2, 221–7.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wink, P. and Dillon, M. 2002. Spiritual development across the adult life course: findings from a longitudinal study. Journal of Adult Development, 9, 1, 7994.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wink, P. and Dillon, M. 2003. Religiousness, spirituality, and psychosocial functioning in late adulthood: findings from a longitudinal study. Psychology and Aging, 18, 4, 916–24.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Woods, T. E. and Ironson, G. H. 1999. Religion and spirituality in the face of illness: how cancer, cardiac, and HIV patients describe their spirituality/religiosity. Journal of Health Psychology, 4, 3, 393412.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Young, Y., Frick, K. D. and Phelan, E. A. 2009. Can successful aging and chronic illness coexist in the same individual? A multidimensional definition of successful aging. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 10, 2, 8792.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
43
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Older adults' spirituality and life satisfaction: a longitudinal test of social support and sense of coherence as mediating mechanisms
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Older adults' spirituality and life satisfaction: a longitudinal test of social support and sense of coherence as mediating mechanisms
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Older adults' spirituality and life satisfaction: a longitudinal test of social support and sense of coherence as mediating mechanisms
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *