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Contextual Effects on Life Satisfaction of Older Men and Women

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 March 2010

Paul Bourque*
Affiliation:
Université de Moncton
Dolores Pushkar
Affiliation:
Concordia University
Lucie Bonneville
Affiliation:
Concordia University
François Béland
Affiliation:
Université de Montréal
*
Requests for offprints should be sent to: / Les demandes de tirés-à-part doivent être addressées à : Paul Bourque, Ph.D., Directeur, École de psychologie, Université de Moncton, Moncton, NB, E1A 3E9. (bourqup@umoncton.ca)

Abstract

Differences occur in the demographic, health, and social network contexts of men and women, all of which are associated with successful aging. The objectives of this study were to determine whether differences exist in satisfaction in specific domains, in general life satisfaction and in the paths for life satisfaction for men and women. A secondary data analysis was conducted on selected variables from the Aging in the Community data set (Béland et al., 1998). The responses of 958 older Canadian francophone adults were examined. There were no differences in general or domain life satisfaction between women and men. Path analyses revealed good model fit for separate models for both male and female samples. For men, life satisfaction is explained positively by age, income, and perceived control, and negatively by recall errors, illness, and functional limitations. For women, life satisfaction is explained positively by age, education, income, social support, perceived control, and physical activity, and negatively by illness and functional limitations. The results suggest that social support had direct positive effects on life satisfaction but reduced perceived control for women. As hypothesized, although there are similarities in paths to life satisfaction for older men and women, the path models indicated that there are also important differences.

Résumé

Des différences existent entre les sexes dans les variables liées à la démographie, à la santé et aux réseaux sociaux, variables qui sont associés à un vieillissement réussi, mais on n'en trouve généralement pas en ce qui concerne la satisfaction face à la vie. La présente étude avait pour but premier de déterminer s'il y a des différences entre les hommes et les femmes par rapport à leur satisfaction dans des domaines particuliers et en général à l'égard de la vie. Ont également été examinées les différences dans la satisfaction face au parcours de la vie entre les hommes et les femmes. Dans un deuxième temps, nous avons procédé à une analyse de l'ensemble de données recueillies dans l'étude Vieillir dans la communauté (Béland et al., 1989) afin d'évaluer le bien-être des adultes francophones plus âgés (N=958). Des analyses acheminatoires ont révélé une bonne concordance des modèles utilisés pour les échantillons masculins et féminins. Chez les hommes, la satisfaction face à la vie s'explique positivement selon l'âge, le revenu et le contrôle et négativement selon les erreurs de mémoire, la maladie et les limitations fonctionnelles. Chez les femmes, la satisfaction face à la vie s'explique selon l'âge, la scolarité, le revenu, la maladie, les limitations fonctionnelles, le soutien social, le contrô le et le mode de vie. Les résultats ont fait ressortir les aspects positifs et négatifs du soutien social pour les femmes. Tel que nous nous y attendions, les modèles de parcours ont indiqué que, même s'il existe des similitudes dans la satisfaction face au parcours de la vie chez les hommes et chez les femmes plus âgés, on retrouve également des différences importantes.

Type
Articles: Symposium: Aging Well
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Association on Gerontology 2005

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