The effects of age and optimism on physical health and well-being in older age

TitleThe effects of age and optimism on physical health and well-being in older age
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2023
Authorsvan Ool, L
Academic DepartmentPositive Psychology and Well-being
DegreeMSc
Date Published6/24/2022
UniversityTilburg University
CityTilburg, Netherlands
Thesis TypeMaster
KeywordsAge, Older ages, Optimism, Physical Health, Well-being
Abstract

This study examined the relationship between optimism, well-being, and physical health in
older adults. Studies showed that despite physical worsening, aging is associated with increased
well-being; optimism may contribute to this. Therefore, the current study expected that; well-being
would be higher in the oldest adults compared to the younger older adults; physical health would
be the lowest in the oldest adults compared to the younger older adults; optimism would be a
supportive factor for higher well-being and optimism would lead to a less detrimental experience
of physical health. A cross-sectional study was conducted using questionnaires among 3.844 older
adults. The data came from The Health and Retirement Study. The LOT-R (optimism measure),
the SWLS (well-being measure) and a question about the experienced physical health were used
for the analyses, done with one-way ANCOVA. Well-being was significantly higher and physical
health was significantly lower in the group of older adults 80 years and older than in the group of
older adults aged 60-79 years. Optimism did not show a moderating effect on the relationships of
age, well-being, and physical health. Optimism was thus not a protective factor for decrease in
physical health and not a supportive factor for higher well-being. In conclusion, in line with former
literature, the current study found that older adults of 80 years and older experienced more wellbeing and experienced a worse physical health than younger older adults. However, these
relationships were not influenced by optimism, further research is recommended.
Keywords: Age, optimism, well-being, physical health

URLhttp://arno.uvt.nl/show.cgi?fid=161715
Citation Key13412