Lookup NU author(s): Dr Alison Killen
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).
Life expectancy is increasing globally, which makes understanding what contributes to well-being in older adults crucial for social and economic reasons. This is the first study to categorize positive life events in community dwelling older adults, to explore their fit with psychological well-being models. Volunteers self-defined as well (N = 88), completed diaries identifying three positive events daily for 14 days. Diary entries combated negative stereotypes of ageing by describing older adults with active lives contributing to society. Of nine themes identified through thematic analysis of over 3500 events; seven supported existing well-being models, being activities delivering positive affect and life satisfaction (hedonic model) and demonstrating competence, autonomy, relatedness, self-acceptance, purpose in life, and personal growth (eudemonic models). However, two well-supported new dimensions were also identified within the themes ‘interaction with the physical environment’ and ‘personal well-being’. These new dimensions were labelled ‘life-affirmation and ‘mindfulness’. This suggests the existence of additional considerations related to well-being specifically for older populations, which may indicate a need to broaden the existing models.
Author(s): Killen A, Macaskill A
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: International Journal of Applied Positive Psychology
Online publication date: 13/02/2020
Acceptance date: 29/01/2020
Date deposited: 25/02/2020
ISSN (print): 2364-5040
ISSN (electronic): 2364-5059
Altmetrics provided by Altmetric