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Journal Article

Late-life decline in well-being across adulthood in Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States: something is seriously wrong at the end of life

Authors

Publication date

2010

Abstract

Throughout adulthood and old age, levels of well-being appear to remain relatively stable. However, evidence is emerging that late in life well-being declines considerably. Using long-term longitudinal data of deceased participants in national samples from Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States, we examined how long this period lasts. In all 3 nations and across the adult age range, well-being was relatively stable over age but declined rapidly with impending death. Articulating notions of terminal decline associated with impending death, we identified prototypical transition points in each study between 3 and 5 years prior to death, after which normative rates of decline steepened by a factor of 3 or more. The findings suggest that mortality-related mechanisms drive late-life changes in well-being and highlight the need for further refinement of psychological concepts about how and when late-life declines in psychosocial functioning prototypically begin.

Published in

Psychology and Aging

Volume

25 (2):477-485

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0017543

Subjects

Older People, Well Being, and Health

Links

http://serlib0.essex.ac.uk/record=b1606253~S5

Notes

Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to Univ. Essex registered users*

#513627


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