Author(s):

  • Leung, Beeto Wai-Chung
  • Moneta, Giovanni B.
  • McBride-Chang, Catherine

Abstract:

This study developed a dispositional path model of life satisfaction for community dwelling Chinese elderly living in Hong Kong. A sample of 117 elderly completed scales measuring life satisfaction, optimism, self-esteem, relationship harmony, self-construals, and perceived/expected health and financial status. Modeling revealed that life satisfaction was predicted by self-esteem and relationship harmony, which in turn were predicted by independent and interdependent self-construals, respectively. In addition, optimism predicted life satisfaction directly and indirectly through self-esteem and relationship harmony. Financial status mediated entirely the effect of optimism on life satisfaction. Health status was predicted by optimism but did not predict life satisfaction. Optimism is a key contributor to subjective well being because it fosters self-esteem, relationship harmony, and positive perceptions of financial conditions.

Document:

https://doi.org/10.2190/FQTB-EBAJ-H9WP-LMYA

References:
Abeles, R. P., Gift, H. C., & Ory, M. G. , (Eds.). (1994). Aging and quality of life. New York: Springer.
Google Scholar
Albert, M. S., Savage, C. R., Jones, K., Berkman, L., Seeman, T., Blazer, D., & Rowe, J. W. (1995). Predictors of cognitive change in older persons: MacArthur studies of successful aging. Psychology and Aging, 10, 578–589.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Andrews, F. M. , & Withey, S. B. (1976). Social indictors of well-being: America’s perception of life quality. New York: Plenum Press.
Google Scholar | Crossref
Argyle, M. (1986). The psychology of happiness. London: Methuen.
Google Scholar
Atchley, R. C. (2000). Social forces and aging: An introduction to social gerontology (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Press.
Google Scholar
Baltes, P. B. , & Baltes, M. M. (1990). Successful aging: Perspectives from the behavioral Sciences. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Google Scholar | Crossref
Beckman, L., Seeman, T., Albert, M. S., Blazer, D., Kahn, R., Mohs, R., Finch, C., Schneider, E., Cotman, C., McClearn, G., Nesselroade, J., Featherman, D., Garmezy, N., McKhann, G., Brim, G., Prager, D., & Rowe, J. W. (1993). High usual and impaired functioning in community-dwelling older men and women: Findings from the MacArthur Foundation research network on successful aging. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 46, 1129–1140.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Bentler, P. M. (1990). Comparative fit indexes in structural models. Psychological Bulletin, 197, 238–246.
Google Scholar | Crossref | ISI
Blankstein, K. R., Flett, G. L., & Koledin, S. (1991). The brief college student Hassles Scale: Development, validation, and relation with pessimism. Journal of College Student Development, 32, 258–264.
Google Scholar | ISI
Boland, A. , & Cappeliez, P. (1997). Optimism and neuroticism as predictors of coping and adaptation in older women. Personality and Individual Differences, 22, 909–919.
Google Scholar | Crossref | ISI
Brandtstadter, J. , & Renner, G. (1990). Tenacious goal pursuit and flexible goal adjustment: Explication and age-related analysis of assimilation and accommodation strategies of coping. Psychology and Aging, 5, 58–67.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Brief, A. P., Butcher, A. H., George, J. M., & Link, K. E. (1993). Integrating bottom-up and top-down theories of subjective well-being: The case of health. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 646–653.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Browne, M. W. , & Cudeck, R. (1993). Alternative ways of assessing model fit. In Bollen, K. A. & Long, J. S. (Eds.), Testing structural equation models (pp. 136–162). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Google Scholar
Bryant, F. B. , & Veroff, J. (1982). The structure of psychological well-being: A sociohistorical analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 43, 653–673.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Buchanan, G. M. , & Seligman, M. E. P. (Eds.). (1995). Explanatory style. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Google Scholar
Butt, D. S. , & Beiser, M. (1987). Successful aging: A theme for international psychology. Psychology and Aging, 2, 87–94.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Campbell, A., Converse, P. E., & Rodgers, W. L. (1976). The quality of American life. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Google Scholar
Carver, C. S. , & Scheier, M. F. (1981). Attention and self-regulation: A control-theory approach to human behavior. New York: Springer-Verlag.
Google Scholar | Crossref
Carver, C. S. , & Scheier, M. F. (1990). Origins and functions of positive and negative affect: A control-process view. Psychological Review, 97, 19–35.
Google Scholar | Crossref | ISI
Chang, E. C., Maydeu, O. A., & D’Zurilla, T. J. (1997). Optimism and pessimism as partially independent constructs: Relationship to positive and negative affectivity and psychological well-bring. Personality and Individual Differences, 23, 433–440.
Google Scholar | Crossref | ISI
Chang, E. C. , & Sanna, L. J. (2001). Optimism, pessimism, and positive and negative affectivity in middle-aged adults: A test of a cognitive-affective model of psychological adjustment. Psychology & Aging, 16, 524–531.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Cheng, S. T. , & Hamid, P. N. (1995). To drop or not to drop an ambiguous item: A reply to Shek. Perceptual-and-Motor-Skills, 81, 988–990.
Google Scholar | SAGE Journals | ISI
Chou, K. L. , & Chi, I. (1999). Determinants of life satisfaction in Hong Kong Chinese elderly: A longitudinal study. Aging and Mental Health, 3, 328–335.
Google Scholar | Crossref | ISI
Choy, W. C. W. , & Moneta, G. B. (2003). The interplay of autonomy and relatedness in Hong Kong Chinese single mothers. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 26, 186–199.
Google Scholar | SAGE Journals | ISI
Diener, E. (1984). Subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 95, 542–575.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Diener, E. , & Diener, M. (1995). Cross-cultural correlates of life satisfaction and self-esteem. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 653–663.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The Satisfaction with Life Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71–75.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Diener, E. , & Suh, E. (1998). Age and subjective well-being: An international analysis. Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 17, 304–324.
Google Scholar
Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R. E., & Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective well-being: Three decades of progress. Psychological Bulletin, 125, 276–302.
Google Scholar | Crossref | ISI
Elderly Commission . (1999). Report of the Elderly Commission 1997–1999. Retrieved March 2, 2000, from: http://www.elderlycommission.gov.hk/en/library/ECREPORT.HTM.
Google Scholar
Fisher, B. J. (1995). Successful aging, life satisfaction, and generativity in later life. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 41, 239–250.
Google Scholar | SAGE Journals | ISI
Fontaine, K. R. , & Seal, A. (1997). Optimism, social support and premenstrual dysphoria. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 53, 243–247.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Fries, J. F. (1990). Medical perspectives upon successful aging. In Baltes, P. B. & Baltes, M. M. (Eds.), Successful aging: Perspectives from the behavioral sciences. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Google Scholar | Crossref
Fung, H. H., Carstensen, L. L., & Lutz, M. A. (1999). Influence of time on social preferences: Implications for life-span development. Psychology and Aging, 14, 595–604.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Gao, G., Ting-Toomey, S., & Gudykunst, W. B. (1996). Chinese communication processes. In Bond, M. H. (Ed.), The handbook of Chinese psychology (pp. 280–293). Hong Kong: Oxford.
Google Scholar
Garfein, A. J. , & Herzog, A. R. (1995). Robust aging among the young-old, old-old, and oldest-old. Journals of Gerontology, 508, 577–587.
Google Scholar
Gilham, J. E., Reivich, K. J., Jaycox, L. H., & Seligman, M. E. P. (1995). Prevention of depressive symptoms in school children: Two-year follow-up. Psychological Science, 6, 343–351.
Google Scholar | SAGE Journals | ISI
Goodwin, R. , & Tang, C. S. K. (1996). Chinese personal relationships. In Bond, M. H. (Ed.), The handbook of Chinese psychology (pp. 294–308). Hong Kong: Oxford.
Google Scholar
Haring, M. J., Stock, W. A., & Okun, M. A. (1984). A research synthesis of gender and social class as correlates of subjective well being. Human Relations, 37, 645–657.
Google Scholar | SAGE Journals | ISI
Haring-Hidore, M., Stock, W. A., Okun, M. A., & Witter, R. A. (1985). Marital status and subjective well-being: A research synthesis. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 47, 947–953.
Google Scholar | Crossref | ISI
Hazzard, W. R. (1995). Weight control and exercise: Cardinal features of successful preventive gerontology [Editorial]. Journal of the American Medical Association, 274, 1964–1965.
Google Scholar | Crossref | ISI
Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department . (2001). Hong Kong annual digest of statistics. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Government Printer.
Google Scholar
Hooyman, N. R. (1996). Social gerontology: A multidisciplinary perspective (4th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon Press.
Google Scholar
Horley, J. , & Lavery, J. J. (1995). Subjective well-being and age. Social Indicators Research, 34, 275–282.
Google Scholar | Crossref | ISI
Inglehart, R. (1990). Culture shift in advanced industrial society. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Google Scholar | Crossref
James, W. (1958). Varieties of religious experience. New York: Mentor.
Google Scholar
Jöreskog, K. G. , & Sörbom, D. (1996). LISREL 8: User’s reference guide. Chicago, IL: Scientific Software International, Inc.
Google Scholar
June, C. (1933). Modern man in search of a soul. New York: Harcourt.
Google Scholar
Kahneman, D. (1999). Objective happiness. In Kahneman, D., Diener, E., & Schwartz, N. (Eds.), Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology (pp. 3–27). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Google Scholar
Krause, N. (1990). Perceived health problems, formal/informal support, and life satisfaction among older adults. Journals of Gerontology, 45, 193–205.
Google Scholar | Crossref | ISI
Krause, N. (1991). Stressful events and life satisfaction among elderly men and women. Journals of Gerontology, 46, 84–92.
Google Scholar | Crossref | ISI
Krause, N. (1993). Race differences in life satisfaction among elderly men and women. Journals of Gerontology, 48, 235–244.
Google Scholar | Crossref | ISI
Krause, N., Jay, G., & Liang, J. (1991). Financial strain and psychological well-being among the American and Japanese elderly. Psychology & Aging, 6, 170–181.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Kwan, V. S. Y., Bond, M. H., & Singelis, T. M. (1997). Pancultural explanations for life satisfaction: Adding relationship harmony to self-esteem. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 1038–1051.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Lai, J. C. L. (1997). Relative predictive power of the optimism versus the pessimism index of a Chinese version of the Life Orientation Test. The Psychological Record, 47, 399–410.
Google Scholar | Crossref | ISI
Lai, J. C. L., Cheung, H., Lee, W. M., & Yu, H. (1998). The utility of the revised Life Orientation Test to measure optimism among Hong Kong Chinese. International Journal of Psychology, 33(1), 45–56.
Google Scholar | Crossref | ISI
Leung, J. P. , & Leung, K. (1992). Life satisfaction, self-concept, and relationships with parents in adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 21, 653–665.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Markus, H. R. , & Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation. Psychological Review, 98, 224–253.
Google Scholar | Crossref | ISI
Maslow, A. H. (1962). Toward a psychology of being. Princeton, NJ: Van Nostrand.
Google Scholar | Crossref
Maslow, A. H. (1970). Motivation and personality. New York: Harper & Row.
Google Scholar
Munro, B. H. (2001). Statistical methods for health care and research (4th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Press.
Google Scholar
Myers, D. G. , & Diener, E. (1995). Who is happy? Psychological Science, 6, 10–19.
Google Scholar | SAGE Journals | ISI
Nussbaum, M. (2000). Women and human development: The capabilities approach. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.
Google Scholar | Crossref
Pavot, W. , & Diener, E. (1993). Review of Satisfaction with Life Scale. Psychological Assessment, 5, 164–172.
Google Scholar | Crossref
Peterson, C. (2000). The future of optimism. American Psychologist, 55, 44–55.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Rapkin, B. D. , & Fischer, K. (1992). Framing the construct of life satisfaction in terms of older adults’ personal goals. Psychology and Aging, 7, 138–149.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University.
Google Scholar | Crossref
Rowe, J. W. , & Kahn, R. L. (1987). Human aging: Usual and successful aging. Science, 237, 143–149.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Rowe, J. W. , & Kahn, R. L. (1997). Successful aging. The Gerontologist, 37, 433–440.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Ryff, C. D. , & Keyes, C. L. M. (1995). The structure of psychological well-being revisited. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 719–727.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Scheier, M. F. , & Carver, C. S. (1985). Optimism, coping, and health: Assessment and implications of generalized outcome expectancies. Health Psychology, 4, 219–247.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Scheier, M. F. , & Carver, C. S. (1992). Effects of optimism on psychological and physical well-being: Theoretically overview and empirical update. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 16, 201–228.
Google Scholar | Crossref | ISI
Scheier, M. F., Carver, C. S., & Bridges, M. W. (1994). Distinguishing optimism from neuroticism (and trait anxiety, self mastery, and self esteem): A reevaluation of the life orientation test. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 1063–1078.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Scheier, M. F., Weintraub, J. K., & Carver, C. S. (1986). Coping with stress: Divergent strategies of optimists and pessimists. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1257–1264.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Schwartz, S. H. (1992). Universals in the content and structure of values: Theoretical advances and empirical tests in 20 countries. In Zanna, M. (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (vol. 25; pp. 1–65). Orlando, FL: Academic Press.
Google Scholar | Crossref
Seligman, M.E.P. (1990). Learned optimism. New York: Knopf.
Google Scholar
Seligman, M. E. P. (1998, April). Positive social science. APA Monitor, 29, 5.
Google Scholar
Seligman, M. E. P. , & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55, 5–14.
Google Scholar | Crossref | Medline | ISI
Sen, A. (1999). Development as freedom. Oxford University Press: Oxford.
Google Scholar
Singelis, T. M. (1994). The measurement of independent and interdependent self-construals. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 20, 580–591.
Google Scholar | SAGE Journals | ISI
Synder, C. R. (1994). The psychology of hope: You can get there from here. New York: Free Press.
Google Scholar
Taylor, S. E. (1983). Adjustment to threatening events: A theory of cognitive adaptation. American Psychologist, 38, 1161–1173.
Google Scholar | Crossref | ISI
Taylor, S. E., Collins, R. L., Skokan, L. A., & Aspinwall, L. G. (1989). Maintaining positive illusions in the face of negative information: Getting the facts without letting them get to you. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 8, 114–129.
Google Scholar | Crossref | ISI
Veenhoven, R. (1994). Correlates of happiness: 7,836 findings from 603 studies in 69 nations: 1911–1994. Unpublished manuscript, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Google Scholar
Witter, R. A., Okun, M. A., Stock, W. A., & Haring, M. J. (1984). Education and subjective well-being: A meta-analysis. Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 6, 165–173.
Google Scholar | SAGE Journals

The SELF Institute