Rediscovering Internal Strengths of the Aged: The Beneficial Impact of Wisdom, Mastery, Purpose in Life, and Spirituality on Aging Well

Ardelt, M., Landes, S.D., Gerlach, K.R., & Polkowski Fox, L. (2013). Rediscovering internal strengths of the aged: The beneficial impact of wisdom, mastery, purpose in life, and spirituality on aging well. In J.D. Sinnott (Ed.), Positive Psychology (pp.97-119). New York, NY: Springer.

Abstract: What explains aging and dying well? Previous research primarily examined the effects of objective life conditions (e.g., physical health, finances, socioeconomic status, age, social relationships) on older adults’ subjective well-being, whereas their internal strengths have often been ignored. Applying theories of life-long psychosocial growth and the life course principles of life span development and human agency, and using a sample of 144 older community residents, nursing home residents, and hospice patients (aged 56+) living in North Central Florida, this study investigated the effects of older people’s psychosocial strengths (their wisdom, mastery, purpose in life) and spirituality on subjective well-being and death attitudes. Wisdom was defined and operationalized as a combination of cognitive, reflective, and compassionate personality characteristics. Results of hierarchical regression analyses showed that, contrary to situational theory, internal strengths of the aged had a stronger effect on greater subjective well-being and less death fear than on objective circumstances.

Read the chapter: Ardelt, M., Landes, S.D., Gerlach, K.R., & Polkowski Fox, L. (2013). Rediscovering internal strengths of the aged: The beneficial impact of wisdom, mastery, purpose in life, and spirituality on aging well. In J.D. Sinnott (Ed.), Positive Psychology (pp.97-119). New York, NY: Springer.



(Something interesting I found)Posted:Jun 01 2013, 12:00 AM by brendah
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