Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/150831
Authors: 
Gerstorf, Denis
Ram, Nilam
Mayraz, Guy
Hidajat, Mira
Lindenberger, Ulman
Wagner, Gert G.
Schupp, Jürgen
Year of Publication: 
2010
Series/Report no.: 
SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 286
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 UK, and the US, we examine how long this period lasts. In all three 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 three and five years prior to death, after which normative rates of decline steepened by a factor of three 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.
Subjects: 
Selective mortality
successful aging
differential aging
psychosocial factors
well-being
multiphase growth model
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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