NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ802454
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 60
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Life Satisfaction Shows Terminal Decline in Old Age: Longitudinal Evidence from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP)
Gerstorf, Denis; Ram, Nilam; Estabrook, Ryne; Schupp, Jurgen; Wagner, Gert G.; Lindenberger, Ulman
Developmental Psychology, v44 n4 p1148-1159 Jul 2008
Longitudinal data spanning 22 years, obtained from deceased participants of the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP; N = 1,637; 70- to 100-year-olds), were used to examine if and how life satisfaction exhibits terminal decline at the end of life. Changes in life satisfaction were more strongly associated with distance to death than with distance from birth (chronological age). Multiphase growth models were used to identify a transition point about 4 years prior to death where the prototypical rate of decline in life satisfaction tripled from -0.64 to -1.94 T-score units per year. Further individual-level analyses suggest that individuals dying at older ages spend more years in the terminal periods of life satisfaction decline than individuals dying at earlier ages. Overall, the evidence suggests that late-life changes in aspects of well-being are driven by mortality-related mechanisms and characterized by terminal decline. (Contains 2 figures, 5 tables, and 7 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany