I found this recently published article to be of particular interest, given that many societies are now aged societies (defined as having more than 14% of the population aged 65 and over; Kim, 2017). Some recent researchers (Robnett, 2002) have proposed a well-being paradox in people aged 65 years and over, whereby there is an increase in life satisfaction in older age.

To expand this research and throw more light on this topic, the author investigated the roles of age (chronological and subjective), appearance management, and economic status in the life satisfaction of a group of 364 Koreans aged 65 years and over. Multiple regression analysis results showed that subjective age and appearance management significantly explained overall satisfaction.

Life satisfaction indicates individuals’ evaluation of their positive affect and overall happiness with their lives and can be a way to predict individual adaptation and mental health. Thus, the degree of life satisfaction can be used as an index to investigate successful aging in older adults.

Researchers have suggested that individuals’ life satisfaction is stable and is influenced more by their subjective psychological factors than by the objective situation of being in old age. This is referred to as subjective age, which has more significance in explaining life satisfaction than chronological age.

Appearance management behavior and interest had a strong influence on life satisfaction, giving individuals more confidence to find new friends and form new social relationships.

A perception of being younger in terms of one’s chronological age and subjective age were both correlated with high life satisfaction.Some researchers have found that, after their twenties, adults perceive themselves as younger than their actual age. Thus, a youthful bias is not only seen in the older populations.

All in all, this was a thought-provoking study.

Kim, S. (2017, September 4). Korea officially becomes aged society [In Korean]. The ChosunIlbo. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2V28dEB

Robnett, R. H. (2002). Quality of life and aging: Exploring the “paradox of well-being.” Occupational Therapy Faculty Publications9. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2VKDU9M

Robert A. C. Stewart, PhD | Editor-in-Chief
Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal