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Main Title: Changes in life satisfaction when losing one's spouse: individual differences in anticipation, reaction, adaptation and longevity in the German Socio-economic Panel Study (SOEP)
Author(s): Infurna, Frank J.
Wiest, Maja
Gerstorf, Denis
Ram, Nilam
Schupp, Jürgen
Wagner, Gert G.
Heckhausen, Jutta
Type: Article
Language Code: en
Abstract: Losing a spouse is among the most devastating events that may occur in people's lives. We use longitudinal data from 1,224 participants in the German Socio-economic Panel Study (SOEP) to examine (a) how life satisfaction changes with the experience of spousal loss; (b) whether socio-demographic factors and social and health resources moderate spousal loss-related changes in life satisfaction; and (c) whether extent of anticipation, reaction and adaptation to spousal loss are associated with mortality. Results reveal that life satisfaction shows anticipatory declines about two and a half years prior to (anticipation), steep declines in the months surrounding (reaction) and lower levels after spousal loss (adaptation). Older age was associated with steeper anticipatory declines, but less steep reactive declines. Additionally, younger age, better health, social participation and poorer partner health were associated with better adaptation. Higher pre-loss life satisfaction, less steep reactive declines and better adaptation were associated with longevity. The discussion focuses on the utility of examining the interrelatedness among anticipation, reaction and adaptation to further our understanding of change in life satisfaction in the context of major life events.
Issue Date: 2016
Date Available: 27-Oct-2017
DDC Class: 300 Sozialwissenschaften
330 Wirtschaft
360 Soziale Probleme und Sozialdienste; Verbände
610 Medizin und Gesundheit
301 Soziologie, Anthropologie
Subject(s): anticipation of major life events
hedonic treadmill
subjective wellbeing
german socio-economic panel study
Journal Title: Ageing and society
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publisher Place: Cambridge
Volume: 37
Issue: 5
Publisher DOI: 10.1017/s0144686x15001543
Page Start: 899
Page End: 934
EISSN: 1469-1779
ISSN: 0144-686X
Notes: Dieser Beitrag ist mit Zustimmung des Rechteinhabers aufgrund einer (DFG geförderten) Allianz- bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich.
This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.
Appears in Collections:FG Empirische Wirtschaftsforschung und Wirtschaftspolitik » Publications

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