Age effects on subjective        well-being in later lifeStephen Jivraj, Bram Vanhoutte, James Nazroo & Tarani Chandola   ...
Background• In general population wellbeing is U-shaped  over age (Blanchflower & Oswald 2008)• How does well-being evolve...
What is subjective well-being?• Subjective well-being (SWB) is  – mental health more than physical health?  – subjective j...
Aristotle            Epicurus/Aristippus
Hedonic well-being• Philosophical roots in Aristippus of Cyrene,  Epicurus, Bentham, Mill   – Well-being is maximalisation...
Hedonic                                 Well-being           Affective                                 Cognitive       +  ...
Eudaimonic well-being•    Philosophical roots in Aristotle:    • Well-being is about developing one-self    and realising ...
Eudaimonic Well-being             Eudaimonic             Well-being             Autonomy & Self-Pleasure     realisation  ...
Research Questions• What are the effects of ageing, cross-sectional  and longitudinal, on well-being?• Do different measur...
Data• English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA)  – Longitudinal unbalanced sample     • 10.331 respondents (aged 50+) in...
Method: Latent Growth model• Multilevel/Hierarchical/Random model with 2  levels  – observations (L 1) nested in individua...
Evolution CASP 15                          40                          35Predicted CASP-15 score                          ...
Evolution CES-D                        3.5                         3                        2.5Predicted CES-D score      ...
Evolution Life Satisfaction                       27                       26                       25Predicted SWLS score...
Explaining age effects• Controlling for conditions, is there still an age effect?  (Full model => 32-40% of total variance...
Age vs Full model CASP 15                     Full model        Age Model3836343230282624     50    55   60     65        ...
Age vs Full Model CES-D                     Age model        Full Model 32.5 21.5 10.5 0      50   55   60     65        7...
Age vs Full model SWLS                    Age model        Full model282726252423222120     50   55   60     65        70 ...
Conclusion• Different measures different stories?• What does ageing mean in terms of well-  being, is it only a decline in...
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Age, Ageing and Wellbeing in later life

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Age, Ageing and Wellbeing in later life

  1. 1. Age effects on subjective well-being in later lifeStephen Jivraj, Bram Vanhoutte, James Nazroo & Tarani Chandola University of Manchester Frailty, Resilience and Inequality in Later Life
  2. 2. Background• In general population wellbeing is U-shaped over age (Blanchflower & Oswald 2008)• How does well-being evolve in later life (50+)? – Is there a third age (Laslett 1989) ? – What does ageing substantively mean? • Only a decline in conditions and circumstances (health, social support, partnership, ses, …)?
  3. 3. What is subjective well-being?• Subjective well-being (SWB) is – mental health more than physical health? – subjective judgement more than objective conditions? – a social construct rather than universal truth?• Measuring SWB relates to normative ideas about what ‘the good life’ is about!
  4. 4. Aristotle Epicurus/Aristippus
  5. 5. Hedonic well-being• Philosophical roots in Aristippus of Cyrene, Epicurus, Bentham, Mill – Well-being is maximalisation of pleasure, minimalisation of suffering• Affective and cognitive aspect (Diener 1984) – Both + and – affect, based on moods and emotions – Individual assessment of quality of life, based on internal criteria (Life satisfaction)
  6. 6. Hedonic Well-being Affective Cognitive + -Positive Negative Domain HolisticAffect Affect specific CES-D SWLS
  7. 7. Eudaimonic well-being• Philosophical roots in Aristotle: • Well-being is about developing one-self and realising one’s potential (Maslow 1968; Erikson 1959)• Different operationalisations, with similar subdimensions: – Psychological Well-being (Ryff & Singer, 1998) – Self-determination Theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000) – In later life: CASP (Hyde, Wiggins, Higgs & Blane, 2003)
  8. 8. Eudaimonic Well-being Eudaimonic Well-being Autonomy & Self-Pleasure realisation Control CASP CASP15
  9. 9. Research Questions• What are the effects of ageing, cross-sectional and longitudinal, on well-being?• Do different measures show similar age- effects?• Does controlling for circumstances explain away age-effects ?
  10. 10. Data• English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) – Longitudinal unbalanced sample • 10.331 respondents (aged 50+) in wave 1 (2002-2003) • 5.913 in wave 5 (2010-2011) • Average of 3.1 waves completed• SWB Measures: – CASP15: quality of life, autonomy, self- actualisation – CES-D: depressive symptoms – SWLS: evaluative of life satisfaction
  11. 11. Method: Latent Growth model• Multilevel/Hierarchical/Random model with 2 levels – observations (L 1) nested in individuals (L 2)• Steps – Null model => 50-30 % of change in SWB is intra- individual. – Model with only age – Full Model
  12. 12. Evolution CASP 15 40 35Predicted CASP-15 score 30 25 20 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 Age
  13. 13. Evolution CES-D 3.5 3 2.5Predicted CES-D score 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 Age
  14. 14. Evolution Life Satisfaction 27 26 25Predicted SWLS score 24 23 22 21 20 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 Age
  15. 15. Explaining age effects• Controlling for conditions, is there still an age effect? (Full model => 32-40% of total variance is explained )• Controls: – Wave / gender / ethnicity / marital status / wealth / social class / education / employment status / LLSI / ADL / chronic conditions / close contacts / social support / volunteering / caring
  16. 16. Age vs Full model CASP 15 Full model Age Model3836343230282624 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85
  17. 17. Age vs Full Model CES-D Age model Full Model 32.5 21.5 10.5 0 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85
  18. 18. Age vs Full model SWLS Age model Full model282726252423222120 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85
  19. 19. Conclusion• Different measures different stories?• What does ageing mean in terms of well- being, is it only a decline in conditions or is something else happening? – CASP – quality of life in later life still declines, taking into account all known correlates – CES-D- rise in depressive symptoms can almost entirely be explained by conditions – SWLS – controlling for conditions, people evaluate their life in more positive terms as they get older.
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