Predictors of Successful Aging: Associations between Social Network Patterns, Life Satisfaction, Depression, Subjective Health, and Leisure Time Activity for Older Adults in India

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Aging in the new millennium is greatly influenced by both global and region-specific factors. In Asia, the aged population is increasing at a faster rate than both Europe and North America, making issues related to older adults needing immediate attention of researchers & planners. This study aims at identifying the predictors of successful aging. Successful aging as a construct often has an integration of good social engagement, sense of purpose in life, maintaining cognitive capacity and functional autonomy. One hundred fifty participants in India completed the Life Satisfaction Questionnaire, Geriatric Depression Scale, Health Awareness Schedule, and the Leisure Time Activity ... continued below

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Varshney, Swati August 2007.

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  • Varshney, Swati

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Aging in the new millennium is greatly influenced by both global and region-specific factors. In Asia, the aged population is increasing at a faster rate than both Europe and North America, making issues related to older adults needing immediate attention of researchers & planners. This study aims at identifying the predictors of successful aging. Successful aging as a construct often has an integration of good social engagement, sense of purpose in life, maintaining cognitive capacity and functional autonomy. One hundred fifty participants in India completed the Life Satisfaction Questionnaire, Geriatric Depression Scale, Health Awareness Schedule, and the Leisure Time Activity Record. Firstly, it is mainly evident that social support network is larger for older adults residing in a joint family as compared to a nuclear family setup. Further, married males in a joint family have the largest network size compared to all the other groups. The study however, reveals an interesting reverse trend of widowed females having a larger network size compared to widowed males. Statistical analysis found measures of successful aging to be highly correlated with each other, with subjective health and depression being significant predictors of life satisfaction. Further, life satisfaction, depression levels, and leisure time activities were all significant predictors of subjective health. Significant gender differences were found on life satisfaction and subjective health with married males living in joint families reporting the highest scores on all the above measures. In addition, widowed women showed the highest levels of depression, which relates to their lower life satisfaction, poor ratings of health and low involvement in leisure activities. The study achieved a higher understanding of successful aging and presented a novel finding of educational level being significantly correlated with all measures of successful aging. This study is the first of its kind to measure successful aging in an urban Asian-Indian population. However, more research is needed to examine other age-related variations to enable generalization of results to a larger culturally diverse population.

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  • August 2007

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  • Jan. 14, 2008, 11:18 p.m.

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  • Jan. 21, 2014, 1:28 p.m.

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Varshney, Swati. Predictors of Successful Aging: Associations between Social Network Patterns, Life Satisfaction, Depression, Subjective Health, and Leisure Time Activity for Older Adults in India, dissertation, August 2007; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3910/: accessed May 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .