Bienestar emocional en la vejez avanzada: estudio comparativo por edad y género

  1. Navarro Prados, Ana Belén
  2. Bueno Martínez, María Belén
  3. Buz Delgado, José
Psychology, Society & Education

ISSN: 1989-709X 2171-2085

Year of publication: 2013

Volume: 5

Issue: 1

Pages: 41-57

Type: Article

More publications in: Psychology, Society & Education


In very old age, emotional states become the most important reason to maintain life satisfaction. In this study we examined the role of positive and negative emotions on the judgment of life satisfaction in advanced old age and the age and gender differences in a sample of 400 elderly people of Salamanca, aged between 75 and 104. The results show a higher frequency of positive emotions than negative, with the most frequent of the former being attentive, active and strong, and the less frequent ones being excited and inspired. Among the more frequent negative emotions are feeling jittery, nervous and alert, and the less frequent ones are feeling guilty, hostile and ashamed. In addition, there are differences in terms of both age (people aged between 75 and 84 are more active, enthusiastic and inspired) and gender (very old women are more jittery, nervous, proud, afraid, scared and upset). Moreover, multiple regression analysis showed that remaining lively, happy, interested and alert to events is essential for maintaining the life satisfaction of people aged over 75. These results confirm that positive emotions are a potential resource for psychological resilience in advanced old age.

Bibliographic References

  • Alcalá, V., Camacho, M., Giner, D., Giner, J. e Ibáñez, E. (2006). Afectos y género. Psicothema, 18(1), 143-148.
  • Aspinwall, L. G. (2001). Dealing with adversity: Self-regulation, coping, adaptation, and health. En A. Tesser, y N. Schwarz (Eds.), The Blackwell Handbook of Social Psychology: Vol. 1. Intrapersonal Processes (pp. 591-614). Malden, MA: Blackwell.
  • Baltes, P. B., Freund, A. M. y Horgas, A. L. (1999). Men and women in the Berlin Aging Study. En P. B. Baltes, y k. U. Mayer (Eds.), The Berlin Aging Study: Aging from 70 to 100 (pp. 259-281). Nueva york: Cambridge University Press.
  • Beekman, A., Bremmer, M., Deeg, D., Van Balkom, A. J., Smit, J. H., de Beurs, E., Van Dyck, R. y Van Tilburg, W. (1998). Anxiety disorders in later life. A report from Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatric, 13, 717-726.
  • Berg, A. I., Hassing, L. B., McClearn, G. E. y Johansson, B. (2006). What matters for life satisfaction in the oldest-old? Aging and Mental Health, 10(3), 257-264.
  • Blazer, D. G. (2003). Depression in late life: Review and commentary. Journals of Gerontology: Series A: Biological Sciences y Medical Sciences, 58A (3), 249-265.
  • Brandtstädter, J. y Rothermund, k. (2002). The life-course dynamics of goal pursuit and goal adjustment: A two-process framework. Developmental Review, 22, 117-150.
  • Brody, L y Hall, J. (2000). Gender, emotion, and expression. En M. Lewis y J. Haviland-Jones (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (pp. 338-349). Nueva york: The Guilford Press.
  • Charles, S. T., Reynolds, C. y Gatz, M. (2001). Age-related differences and change in positive and negative affect over 23 years. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 136-151.
  • Diener, E. (1984). Subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 95(3), 542- 575.
  • Diener, E. (2006). Guidelines for national indicators of subjective well-being and ill-being. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 1, 151-157.
  • Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J. y Griffin, S. (1985). The Satisfaction with Life Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71-75.
  • Diener, E., Oishi, S. y Lucas, R. E. (2003). Personality, culture, and subjective well-being: Emotional and cognitive evaluations of life. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 403-425.
  • Diener, E. y Suh, E. (1998). Age and subjective well-being: An international analysis. Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 17, 304-324.
  • Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R. E. y Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective well-being: Three decades of progress. Psychological Bulletin, 125(2), 276-302.
  • Feingold, A. (1994). Gender differences in personality: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 116, 429-456.
  • Ferring, D. y Filipp, S. H. (1995). The structure of subjective well-being in the elderly: A test of different models by structural equation modeling. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 11, 32.
  • Gross, J., Carstensen, L. L., Pasupathi, M., Tsai, J., GötestamSkorpen, C. y Hsu, A. (1997). Emotion and aging: Experience, expression and control. Psychology and Aging, 12, 590-599.
  • Hall, J. A. y Matsumoto, D. (2004). Sex differences in judgments of multiple emotions from facial expressions. Emotion, 4, 201-206.
  • Hawkley, L. C., Masi, C., Berry, J. D. y Cacioppo, J. T. (2006). Loneliness is a unique predictor of age-related differences in systolic blood pressure. Psychology and Aging, 21(1), 152-164.
  • Hilleras, P. k., Jorm, A. F., Herlitz, A. y Winblad, B. (1998). Negative and positive affect among the very old: A survey on a sample age 90 years or older. Research on Aging, 20, 593–610.
  • Hosmer, D. W. y Lemeshow, S. (1989). Applied Logistic Regression. Nueva york: John Wiley & Sons.
  • IMSERSO (2005). Las personas mayores en España. Informe 2004. Madrid: Ministerio de Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales.
  • Isaacowitz, D. M. y Smith, J. (2003). Positive and negative affect in very old age. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 58B(3), P143-P152.
  • Joiner, T. E., Sandín, B., Chorot, P., Lostao, L. y Marquina, G. (1997). Development and factor analytic validation of the SPANAS among women in Spain: (More) Cross-cultural convergence in the structure of mood. Journal of Personality Assessment, 68(3), 600-615.
  • Jopp, D. y Rott, C. (2006). Adapting to very old age: Exploring the role of personal resources and protective mechanism in centenarians. Psychology and Aging, 21, 266–280.
  • kuppens, P., Realo, A. y Diener, E. (2008). The role of positive and negative emotions in life satisfaction judgment across nations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(1), 66-75.
  • Lawton, M. P. (2001). Emotion in later life. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 10(4), 120-123.
  • Lucas, R. E., Diener, E. y Suh, E. (1996). Discriminant validity of well-being measures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 616-628.
  • Lyubomirsky, S., King, L. y Diener, E. (2005). The benefits of frequent positive affect: Does happiness lead to success? Psychological Bulletin, 131(6), 803- 855.
  • Martin, P., Rott, C., Poon, L. W., Courtenay, B. y Lehr, U. (2001). A molecular view of coping behavior in older adults. Journal of Aging and Health, 13, 72-91.
  • Mroczek, D. k. (2001). Age and emotion in adulthood. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 10(3), 87-90.
  • Mroczek, D. k. y kolarz, C. M. (1998). The effect of age on positive and negative affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 1333-1349.
  • Navarro, A. B. (2007). Rasgos de personalidad, emociones y experiencia tem- poral: Contribución sobre la Resistencia Psicológica en la vejez avanzada. Tesis Doctoral no publicada, Facultad de Psicología, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, España.
  • Navarro, A. B. y Bueno, B. (en prensa). Afrontamiento de problemas de salud en personas muy mayores. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology.
  • Ong, A. D., Bergeman, C. S., Bisconti, T. L. y Wallace, k. A. (2006). Psychological resilience, positive emotions, and successful adaptation to stress in later life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 730-749.
  • ONU (2002). Plan de Acción Internacional de Madrid sobre el envejecimiento 2002. Revista Española de Geriatría y Gerontología, 37 (S2), 12-36.
  • Pavot, W. y Diener, E. (2004). The subjective evaluation of well-being in adulthood: Findings and implications. Ageing International, 29 (2), 113-135.
  • Pinquart, M. (2001). Correlates of subjective health in older adults: A meta-analysis. Psychology and Aging, 16, 414-426.
  • Sandín, B., Chorot, P., Lostao, L., Joiner, T. E., Santed, M. A. y Valiente, R. M. (1999). Escalas PANAS de afecto positivo y negativo: Validación factorial y convergencia transcultural. Psicothema, 11 (1), 37-51.
  • Simon, R. W. y Nath, L. E. (2004). Gender and emotion in the United States: Do men and women differ in self-reports of feelings and expressive behaviour? The American Journal of Sociology, 109(5), 1137-1177.
  • Smith, J. y Baltes, P. B. (1999). Trends and profiles of psychological functioning in very old age. En P. B. Baltes y k. U. Mayer (Eds.), The Berlin Aging Study: Aging from 70 to 100 (pp. 197-226). Nueva york: Cambridge University Press.
  • Stacey, C. A. y Gatz, M. (1991). Cross-sectional age differences and longitudinal change on the Bradburn Affect Balance Scale. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 46, 76–78.
  • Staudinger, U. M., Freund, A. M., Linden, M. y Maas, I. (1999). Self, personality, and life regulation: Facets of psychological resilience in old age. En P. B. Baltes y k. U. Mayer (Eds.), The Berlin aging study: Aging from 70 to 100 (pp. 302-328). Nueva york: Cambridge University Press.
  • Watson, D., Clark, L. A. y Tellegen, A. (1984). Cross-cultural convergence in the structure of mood: A Japanese replication and a comparison with U. S. findings. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47, 127-144.
  • Watson, D., Clark, L. A. y Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 1063-1070.
  • Wester, S. R., Vogel, D. L., Pressly, P. k. y Heesacker, M. (2002). Sex difference in emotion: A critical review of the literature and implications for counseling psychology. The Counseling Psychologist, 39 (4), 630-652.