Life Satisfaction Shows Terminal Decline in Old Age: Longitudinal Evidence From the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP)

Denis Gerstorf, Nilam Ram, Ryne Estabrook, Jürgen Schupp, Gert G. Wagner, Ulman Lindenberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

111 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1148-1159
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume44
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008

Fingerprint

SOEP
old age
Economics
dying
evidence
death
mortality
Mortality
well-being
Parturition
Growth

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

Cite this

Gerstorf, Denis ; Ram, Nilam ; Estabrook, Ryne ; Schupp, Jürgen ; Wagner, Gert G. ; Lindenberger, Ulman. / Life Satisfaction Shows Terminal Decline in Old Age : Longitudinal Evidence From the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP). In: Developmental psychology. 2008 ; Vol. 44, No. 4. pp. 1148-1159.
@article{534ea83b175144ea9c793cc02b9fe0db,
title = "Life Satisfaction Shows Terminal Decline in Old Age: Longitudinal Evidence From the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP)",
abstract = "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.",
author = "Denis Gerstorf and Nilam Ram and Ryne Estabrook and J{\"u}rgen Schupp and Wagner, {Gert G.} and Ulman Lindenberger",
year = "2008",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1037/0012-1649.44.4.1148",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "44",
pages = "1148--1159",
journal = "Developmental Psychology",
issn = "0012-1649",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "4",

}

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, Jürgen; Wagner, Gert G.; Lindenberger, Ulman.

In: Developmental psychology, Vol. 44, No. 4, 01.07.2008, p. 1148-1159.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Life Satisfaction Shows Terminal Decline in Old Age

T2 - Longitudinal Evidence From the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP)

AU - Gerstorf, Denis

AU - Ram, Nilam

AU - Estabrook, Ryne

AU - Schupp, Jürgen

AU - Wagner, Gert G.

AU - Lindenberger, Ulman

PY - 2008/7/1

Y1 - 2008/7/1

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=47249130034&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=47249130034&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/0012-1649.44.4.1148

DO - 10.1037/0012-1649.44.4.1148

M3 - Article

C2 - 18605841

AN - SCOPUS:47249130034

VL - 44

SP - 1148

EP - 1159

JO - Developmental Psychology

JF - Developmental Psychology

SN - 0012-1649

IS - 4

ER -