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J Gerontol. 1982 Nov;37(6):723-32.

Self-conception and life satisfaction: integrating aged subculture and activity theory.


This study seeks to expand the traditional activity theory explanation of adjustment to aging by integrating it with the aged subculture theory advanced by Rose. A path model is developed that adds self-conception to social activity, social adequacy, and other predictors of life satisfaction. This model is applied, using an analysis of covariance structures approach, to data from two subsamples of older adults from a national Harris survey. As a result of this analysis, self-conception is shown to be an important intervening variable between social activity and life satisfaction, especially for the subsample of older people who prefer to spend time with others their own age. Finally, a symbolic interactionist perspective is suggested for understanding the importance of self-conception in the process of successful aging.

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