ERIC Number: ED253827
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Nov-17
Reference Count: 0
The Impact of Arthritis on Life Satisfaction of Older Adults.
Burckhardt, Carol S.
Poor health has been implicated as a suppressor of the life satisfaction of older adults. To clarify the contribution of arthritis to this process, functional disability, negative affect, pain, current severity of the disease, self-esteem, perception of general health, and internal health locus of control, were placed within a causal model as predictors of life satisfaction. Interviews were conducted with 84 white, middle-class subjects over age 60 who had rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. Path analysis was used to sort out the relationships among the predictors and explain their effect on life satisfaction as measured by the Life Satisfaction Index-Z (Wood, Wylie, and Sheafor, 1969). The model explained approximately 40 percent of the variance in life satisfaction. Pain, negative affect, functional disability, and a sense of internal control over health were significant contributors. A higher degree of pain was significantly predictive of both negative affect and the perceived severity of the disease. Thus, specific arthritis-related problems were the major suppressors of life satisfaction in this sample. These results suggest that the life satisfaction of older adults with arthritis may be enhanced by effective self-management strategies that focus on pain control, functional independence, and reduction of negative feelings. (Author/JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Arthritis; Pain
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society (37th, San Antonio, TX, November 16-20, 1984).