Differences in older and younger adults' perceptions of psychological well-being in later life.
Current and future population increases in those aged 65 years and over have led to considerable research focusing on the implications of an ageing population for health, social and general care provision. A frequent focus of such research is on how initiatives and interventions for older people serve to enhance their psychological well-being. However, no studies have directly compared the actual reported well-being of older people to the perceptions of their well-being by future providers and policy-makers. In the current study, older people (65-88 years) and university students (18-25 years) completed measures of mental well-being, autonomy and purpose in life with the latter group asked to respond from the imagined perspective of a ‘prototypical’ older person. Results showed significantly higher levels of actual than perceived well-being on all three measures. Findings highlight the necessity of consultation and needs assessment when planning, implementing and evaluating well-being interventions designed to benefit older people.
Citation : Wildbur, D. J. and Frost, E. (2013) Differences in older and younger adults' perceptions of psychological well-being in later life.
Research Group : Health Psychology
Research Institute : Institute for Psychological Science