Age, ageing and subjective wellbeing in later life

Research output: Working paper


Objectives. This paper examines age-related changes in subjective wellbeing in later life using multiple measures that cover eudemonic, evaluative and affectivedimensions of wellbeing.Method. Using data from five waves of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing(2002-2011), we fit multilevel linear growth curve models to examine the crosssectional effects of age and the longitudinal effects of ageing on quality of life,depressive symptomatology and life satisfaction in later life.Results. Older individuals are shown to have a better subjective wellbeing than those that are younger for each wellbeing measure, except at the oldest age for quality of life. Nonetheless, deterioration in wellbeing is greater at older ages, even when adjusting for age-related changes in later life, including widowhood, retirement and declining health.Discussion. The results suggest that although older people enjoy higher levels ofsubjective wellbeing than their younger counterparts, they experience sharper declines, especially at the oldest ages. The findings also demonstrate the importance of taking into account the multidimensionality of subjective wellbeing to determine the point at which age deterioration begins to occur across different measures.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationManchester
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

Publication series

NameCCSR Working Paper
PublisherCCSR, University of Manchester