Poczucie sensu życia w kolejnych etapach okresu dorosłości: poszukiwanie jego uwarunkowań wśród osób starszych
Jolanta Życińska , Maciej Januszek
The meaning of life in the consecutive stages of adulthood:
In quest for its determinants among the elderly
The aim of the study was to find out the level of meaning of life in the consecutive stages of adulthood (early, middle and late) and to determine its sources among the elderly.
The study comprised 432 subjects, divided into three age groups: 18-35 (32.8%), 36-65 (26.5%) and above 65 (42.6%), homogeneous according to gender (26.5% males). The study utilized Purpose in Life Test. Additionally, the elderly subjects selected due to lack of dementia filled out the Geriatric Depression Scale, Health Behavior Questionnaire and assessed the network of social support and their social activity, such as volunteering.
The analysis of variance did not indicate differences in levels of meaning of life in the three stages of adulthood. After several categories of meaning of life were considered (goals in life, sense of life and life affirmation), it appeared that the group of the older subjects obtained lower results than the younger adults. Cluster analyses revealed that the elderly undertaking pro-health behaviors and free of symptoms of depression felt their life more meaningful. Those engaged in social activities felt a meaning of life in a similar way; having grandchildren or living without one's family was only significant at the level of tendency. Those among the examined elderly who had a small network of social support (1-3 people) did not differ as regards feeling a meaning of life from the subjects with extensive networks of social support (above 5 people).
The ability to formulate one's goals in life, the dedication to their pursuit and the satisfaction resulting from achieving them generates motivation for undertaking pro-health behaviors and for engaging in social activities despite the lower physical capabilities, deteriorated health status and the necessity to adapt to new social roles in old age.
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Popiołek Katarzyna, Bańka Augustyn (eds.): Kryzysy, katastrofy, kataklizmy w perspektywie jednostkowej i społecznej, 2011, Stowarzyszenie Psychologia i Architektura, ISBN 978-83-62051-16-8, 290 p.
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