Resilience in Old Age

What’s it about?

Resilience is a crucial mechanism of productive aging. It defines how individuals cope with critical events in life e.g. the loss of a partner or unemployment. This is why it is of particular interest if there are any processes of self-regulation and contextual conditions that help to maintain, regain or even increase subjective wellbeing.

What was investigated?

Typically, for this kind of studies field data is analyzed from individuals that have experienced such critical life events within the last 12 months. We wanted to know whether a different picture of the adaptation process would emerge if the exact timing of the event is taken into account (i.e. within 3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months or over 9 months).

What are the main findings?

The study revealed that disregarding the precise timing information led to an underestimation of the initial impact of negative events on life satisfaction. Moreover, it was found that negative events in more objectifiable domains (e.g. work, health) were associated with less objectifiable domains (e.g. friendship). People that experienced a negative event at work, for example, evaluated their personal friendships above average.

More Information:
Zooming in on Life Events: Is Hedonic Adaptation Sensitive to the Temporal Distance from the Event? (2012)