Trajectories of Multiple Subjective Well-Being Facets Across Old Age: The Role of Health and Personality

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Sophie Potter, Johanna Drewelies, Jenny Wagner, Sandra Duezel, Annette Brose, Ilja Demuth, Elisabeth Steinhagen-Thiessen, Ulman Lindenberger, Gert G. Wagner, Denis Gerstorf

In: Psychology and Aging 35 (2020), 6, S. 894-909

Abstract

Subjective well-being is often characterized by average stability across old age, but individual differencesare substantial and not yet fully understood. This study targets physical and cognitive health andpersonality as individual difference characteristics and examines their unique and interactive roles forlevel and change in a number of different facets of subjective well-being. We make use of medicaldiagnoses, performance-based indicators of physical (grip strength) and cognitive functioning (DigitSymbol), and extraversion and neuroticism and apply parallel sets of multilevel growth models tomultiyear well-being data obtained in the Berlin Aging Study 2 (N 1,216; Mage 71; SD 3.84; 51%women) and the German Socio-Economic Panel (N  3,418; Mage  70; SD  6.89; 51% women).Results revealed by and large average stability of life satisfaction, morale, and emotions (anger, fear,sadness, happiness) across old age. Most important for our research questions, higher morbidity, poorperformance on grip strength and perceptual speed tests, lower extraversion, and higher neuroticism wereeach uniquely associated with lower life satisfaction, morale, and positive affect and higher negativeaffect. Some evidence emerged for facet-specific health–personality interaction effects in predicting

Gert G. Wagner

Senior Research Fellow in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department



Keywords: well-being, health, personality, BASE-II, SOEP
DOI:
https://doi.org/10.1037/pag0000459

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