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Aging Ment Health. 2006 Sep;10(5):445-53.

Happiness and congruence in older adulthood: a structural model of life satisfaction.

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  • 1Oklahoma State University, USA.


The purpose of this study was to determine how health impairment, socioeconomic status, and social support relate to life satisfaction in later life. Using data from a sample of 320 older adults from The Georgia Centenarian Study, we constructed a structural model of life satisfaction. LISREL analysis was performed to test a two-factor model that included Happiness and Congruence and to determine the relationship of health impairment, socioeconomic status (SES), and social support to Happiness and Congruence, two measures of the Life Satisfaction Index-A (LSI-A). Data were found to provide a satisfactory fit of the model (GFI = 0.94; AFGI = 0.91). Social support and SES were found to have direct effects on health impairment. Health impairment was a key predictor and mediating variable of Happiness and Congruence. Findings also support a relationship between social resources and subjective well-being in later life. In particular, the association between social resources and life satisfaction was mediated through health impairment. These findings offer understanding relative to how health and social resources influence past and present assessments of subjective well-being among the elderly.

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