Optimism and subjective well-being in adulthood and old age / Derek M. Isaacowitz.

Isaacowitz, Derek M.
x, 68 p. : ill. ; 29 cm.
Local subjects:
Penn dissertations -- Psychology.
Psychology -- Penn dissertations.
Does optimism predict changes in subjective well-being differently in adults of different ages, and do these relationships depend on how optimism is measured? This study attempted to address these issues by testing the link between two optimism constructs, explanatory style and dispositional optimism, and well-being in samples of young, middle-aged and older adults. After completing measures of optimism and well-being (depressive symptoms and life satisfaction) at baseline, participants were contacted 3, 6 and 9 months later to provide updated well-being scores and to report on their experience of negative life events. Older adults had more optimistic explanatory styles in the affiliation domain, and higher levels of both dispositional optimism and pessimism. While dispositional optimism correlated at baseline with well-being in all age groups, explanatory style related to well-being more consistently in younger than older adults. The two optimism constructs also correlated with each other more consistently in younger than in older adults. Longitudinal analyses were conducted using Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) and Hierarchical Linear Models (HLM). ANCOVA results suggested strong effects of negative life events and weak effects of explanatory style and dispositional optimism on changes in well-being. HLM analyses revealed effects of explanatory style and dispositional pessimism, but no effects of negative life events.
Supervisor: Martin E. P. Seligman.
Thesis (Ph.D. in Psychology) -- University of Pennsylvania, 2001.
Includes bibliographical references.
Local notes:
University Microfilms order no.: 3003640.
Seligman, Martin E. P., advisor.
University of Pennsylvania.
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