The Role of Psychological Well-being in All-cause Mortality

Amy L. Collins, Princeton University
Dana A. Glei, University of California, Berkeley
Noreen Goldman, Princeton University

A plethora of research demonstrates that negative affect and depression are related to mortality in clinical and non-clinical samples. Evidence of an association between positive well-being and mortality is more limited. The present study investigated whether positive and negative well-being independently predicted mortality differentials in a non-Western population based sample of 5,307 older adults (aged 50-103). During the follow-up period of ten years (1996 – 2006), there were 1,684 deaths recorded. Higher life satisfaction significantly predicted lower risk of mortality after controlling for age, sex, education, marital status and health status. Depressive symptoms significantly predicted higher risk of mortality. A significant interaction with age revealed that the protective effect of life satisfaction diminished at the oldest ages. Our results provide support for independent effects of positive and negative well-being on mortality in older adults.

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Presented in Session 134: Behavioral Risk Factors and Health/Mortality