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Health and Subjective Well-Being in Later Adulthood: Different Health States - Different Needs


Schuez, BEC and Wurm, S and Warner, LM and Tesch-Romer, C, Health and Subjective Well-Being in Later Adulthood: Different Health States - Different Needs, Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 1, (1) pp. 23-45. ISSN 1758-0846 (2009) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1758-0854.2009.01004.x


From midlife on, health problems become more prevalent. Health is one of the key determinants of subjective well-being (SWB), but examining the relation between health and SWB in later adulthood is complicated by the clustering of multiple illnesses. This article proposes Latent Class Analysis (LCA) for a parsimonious description of adult health. This article compares SWB in health classes and examines the relative importance of socioeconomic resources, pain and coping (flexible goal adjustment) for SWB. Data stem from a nation-wide representative sample of adults aged 40–85 (German Ageing Survey, DEAS; N = 3,084). LCA was used to examine different configurations of health. Multiple regression analyses in latent classes were conducted to examine predictors of SWB. LCA generated four distinct classes of health conditions: No disease (n = 807), cardiovascular diseases (n = 405), joint problems (n = 1,612) and multiple illnesses (n = 258). As expected, only small mean differences in SWB indicators were found, whereas discontinuous predictors of SWB were detected: Coping was more strongly associated with SWB in individuals with higher illness burden. LCA can be applied to describe health in later adulthood. Differential prediction patterns suggest distinct factors for SWB depending on individual health status.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:adult health, developmental psychology, Germany, health psychology,
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Health psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Health related to ageing
UTAS Author:Schuez, BEC (Dr Benjamin Schuez)
ID Code:75063
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:18
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2012-01-06
Last Modified:2014-12-18

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