Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Aging & Mental Health (March 2009) 13(2): 191-201. Copyright 2009, Taylor and Francis. Used by permission. doi: 10.1080/13607860802342227.


Objectives: The study investigates whether markers of life satisfaction identified in a cross-sectional study – quality of social network, self-rated health, depressive symptoms, locus of control and widowhood, in addition to financial satisfaction and the personality traits of extraversion and neuroticism - predict change in life satisfaction (LSI-Z) across four measurement occasions during a 6-year period in individuals aged 80+. Method: Data were drawn from the Swedish OCTO-Twin-study of individuals aged 80 and older. Results: Growth curve analysis showed a relatively consistent significant linear decline in life satisfaction, but certain markers predicted change in life satisfaction. The loss of spouse, in particular in men, and higher levels of depressive symptoms were related to lower levels of life satisfaction over time. Conclusion: The results from the study question the notion of a life-long stability of life satisfaction.