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Psychol Aging. 2006 Jun;21(2):281-90.

Which social needs are important for subjective well-being? What happens to them with aging?

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Department of Internal Medicine, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands.


In this study the authors investigated how satisfaction levels of affection, behavioral confirmation, and status, as three human social needs, relate to age, physical loss, and subjective well-being. Results (N=883, aged 65 to 98 years) revealed that (a) affection was relatively high and status was relatively low in all age and loss groups; behavioral confirmation showed negative age and loss effects but was better predicted by loss; (b) the three needs relate differentially to indicators of subjective well-being: affection and behavioral confirmation relate positively to life satisfaction; status and behavioral confirmation relate positively to positive affect and negatively to negative affect. It is concluded that the need for behavioral confirmation is more difficult to satisfy with high physical loss, but none of the three social needs becomes less important with advancing age.

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