Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-564cf476b6-mb7zs Total loading time: 0.217 Render date: 2021-06-20T08:23:21.006Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true }

Well-Being in Canadian Seniors: Findings from the Canadian Study of Health and Aging*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 November 2010

Philippa J. Clarke
Affiliation:
University of Toronto
Victor W. Marshall
Affiliation:
University of North Carolina
Carol D. Ryff
Affiliation:
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Carolyn J. Rosenthal
Affiliation:
McMaster University

Abstract

While aging is associated with increased health problems and disability, most seniors subjectively rate their health positively, and view aging as a positive period of life evaluation, increased wisdom and maturity. The somewhat paradoxical nature of these findings suggests that later life well-being is multidimensional and variable. Drawing on data from a nationally representative survey, this paper describes the subjective well-being of a sample of Canadian seniors, using the Ryff multidimensional measure of well-being, and investigates the effects of various demographic, health and socio-economic conditions on reported levels of well-being. Seniors’ well-being is robust in terms of the dimension of autonomy, which is resilient to the physical and social circumstances of later life. But, as seniors age, they experience declines in their sense of purpose in life and opportunities for personal growth, in part, due to socio-economic factors. Good health and functional status are important for seniors’ sense of mastery over their surrounding world.

Résumé

Bien que le vieillissement soit associé aux problèmes de santé et à l'invalidité, la plupart des aîné(e)s évaluent leur santé sur une note positive et considèrent le vieillissement comme une période positive d'évaluation de la vie, d'accroissement de la sagesse et de maturité. La nature plutôt paradoxale de ces résultats laisse entendre que le bien-être en fin de vie se présente sous différents aspects. S'inspirant de données d'un échantillonnage national, ce document décrit le bien-être de certains aîné(e)s canadien(ne)s, en utilisant l'échelle multidimentionnelle Ryff et il examine les effets de différents éléments demographiques, socio-économiques et de santé sur les niveaux de bien-être signalés. L'autonomie est une composante robuste du bien-être des aîné(e)s, qui résiste aux conditions physiques et sociales de l'âge avancé. Mais, au fur et à mesure que les aîné(e)s vieillissent, ils constatent une diminution du sens de leur vie et des occasions de croissance provenant en partie de facteurs socio-économiques. Une bonne santé et un état fonctionnel permettent aux aîné(e)s de conserver un sentiment de maîtrise de leur environnement.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Association on Gerontology 2000

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

References

Antonovsky, A. (1987). Unraveling the mystery of health: How people manage stress and stay well. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
Atchley, R. C. (1989). A continuity theory of normal aging. The Gerontologist, 29, 183190.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Badley, E. M., Yoshida, K, Webster, G., & Stephens, M. (1993). Disablement and chronic health problems in Ontario: A report on the 1990 Ontario Health Survey. (Working Paper No. 5, Ontario Health Survey). Toronto: Ontario Ministry of HealthGoogle Scholar
Bollen, K. A. (1989). Structural equations with latent variables. New York: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Canadian Study of Health and Aging Working Group. (1994). Canadian Study of Health and Aging: study methods and prevalence of dementia. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 150(6), 899913.Google Scholar
Connidis, I. (1987). Life in older age: the view from the top. In V.W., Marshall (Ed.), Aging in Canada (2nd ed., pp. 451–172). Markham: Fitzhenry and Whiteside.Google Scholar
Desjardins, B. (1993). Population ageing and the elderly: Current demographic analysis. (Statistics Canada Catalogue No. 91–533E). Ottawa: Minister of Industry, Science and Technology.Google Scholar
Diener, E. (1984). Subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 3(3), 542575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dittman-Kohli, F. (1990). The construction of meaning in old age: Possibilities and constraints. Ageing and Society,, 10 279294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dressel, P., Minkler, M., & Yen, I. (1997). Gender, race, class and aging: Advances and opportunities. International Journal of Health Services, 27(4), 579600.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Easterlin, R. A., & Schaeffer, C. M. (1999). Income and subjective well-being over the life cycle. In C.D., Ryff & V.W., Marshall (Eds.), The self and society in aging processes (pp. 279302). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
Fillenbaum, G. G. (1988). Multidimensional functional assessment of older adults: The Duke Older Americans Resources and Services Procedures. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.Google Scholar
George, L. K. (1992). Economic status and subjective well-being: A review of the literature and an agenda for future research. In Cutler, N.E., Gregg, D.W., & Lawton, M. Powell (Eds.), Aging, money, and life satisfaction: Aspects of financial gerontology (pp. 6999). New York: Springer Publishing Company.Google Scholar
George, L. K. (1996). Social factors and illness. In E.H., Binstock & L.K., George (Eds.), Handbook of aging and the social sciences (4th ed., pp. 229252). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.Google Scholar
Heidrich, S. M., & Ryff, C. D. (1993). The role of social comparisons processes in the psychological adaptation of elderly adults. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 48(3), P127–P136.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Keller, M., Leventhal, E., & Larson, B. (1989). Aging: the lived experience. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 29, 6782.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kozma, A., Stones, M. J., & McNeil, J. K. (1991). Psychological well-being in later life. Toronto: Butterworths Canada Ltd.Google Scholar
Larson, R. (1978). Thirty years of research on the subjective well-being of older Americans. Journal of Gerontology, 33, 109125.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Longino, C. F., Warheit, G. J., & Green, J. A. (1989). Class, aging and health. In K.S., Markides (Ed.), Aging and health: Perspectives on gender, race, ethnicity and class (pp. 79109). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
Marshall, V. W., McMullin, J. A., Ballantyne, P. J., Daciuk, J. F., & Wigdor, B. T. (1995). Contributions to independence over the adult life course. Toronto: Centre for Studies of Aging, University of Toronto.Google Scholar
Martin Matthews, A., & Shipsides, A. (1989). Contributors to the loss of independence and the promotion of independence among seniors: Literature review and consultation with key informants. Report for the Seniors Independence Research Program: Community Health Division, Health and Welfare Canada. Guelph:Gerontology Research Centre, University of Guelph.Google Scholar
Ryff, C. D. (1989a). Beyond Ponce de Leon and life satisfaction: New directions in quest of successful ageing. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 12(1), 3555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ryff, C. D. (1989b). Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57(6), 10691081.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ryff, C. D. (1989c). In the eye of the beholder: Views of psychological well-being among middle-aged and older adults. Psychology and Aging, 4(2), 195210.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ryff, C. D. (1991). Possible selves in adulthood and old age: A tale of shifting horizons. Psychology and Aging, 6(2), 286295.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ryff, C. D., & Essex, M. J. (1991). Psychological well-being in adulthood and old age: Descriptive markers and explanatory processes. Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 11, 144171.Google Scholar
Ryff, C. D., & Keyes, C. L. (1995). The structure of psychological well-being revisited. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 719727.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ryff, C. D., & Magee, W. J. (1995, August). Opportunity, achievement, and well-being: A midlife perspective. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, New York City, NY.Google Scholar
Ryff, C. D., Magee, W. J., Kling, K. C, & Wing, E. H. (1999). Forging macro-micro linkages in the study of psychological well-being: A progression of questions. In Ryff, C. D. & Marshall, V.W. (Eds.), The self and society in aging processes (pp. 247278). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
Ryff, C. D., & Singer, B. (1996). Psychological well-being: Meaning, measurement, and implications for psychotherapy research. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 65, 1423.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Saltonstall, R. (1993). Healthy bodies, social bodies: Men's and women's concepts and practices of health in everyday life. Social Science and Medicine, 36(1), 714.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sauer, W. J., & Warland, R. (1982). Morale and life satisfaction. In Mangen, D.J. & Peterson, W.A. (Eds.), Research instruments in social gerontology: Vol. 1. Clinical and social psychology (pp. 195240). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota.Google Scholar
Stones, M. J., & Kozma, A. (1986). Happy are those who are happy: A test between two causal models of relationships between happiness and its correlates. Experimental Aging Research, 12, 2329.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Survey on Ageing and Independence: Overview of a National Survey. (1993). (Statistics Canada Catalogue No. H88–3/13–1993E). Ottawa: Minister of Supply and Services Canada.Google Scholar
Teng, E. L., & Chui, H. C. (1987). The modified mini-mental state (3MS) examination. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 48(8), 314318.Google ScholarPubMed
Verbrugge, L. M. (1985). Gender and health: An update on hypothesis and evidence. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 26(September), 156182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Warren, R. (1994). Wealth and health, health and wealth (Report for the Premier's Council on Health, Well-Being and Social Justice). Toronto: Queen's Printer.Google Scholar
Wilkins, S., & Cott, C. (1994). Aging, chronic illness and disability. In Nagler, M. (Ed.), Perspectives on disability (2nd ed., pp. 363377). Palo Alto, CA: Health Markets Research.Google Scholar
64
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@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 sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent 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.

Well-Being in Canadian Seniors: Findings from the Canadian Study of Health and Aging*
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send 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 use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Well-Being in Canadian Seniors: Findings from the Canadian Study of Health and Aging*
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send 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 use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Well-Being in Canadian Seniors: Findings from the Canadian Study of Health and Aging*
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? *