Elderly as socially satisfied as the young: study

June 17th, 2008 - 11:46 am ICT by IANS  

Sydney, June 17 (IANS) Younger adults may engage in a lot more social activities, but they were no happier with their social lives than older adults, said a study. Conversely, “older people engaging in fewer social activities with others and spending more time alone each day, they are just as socially satisfied as their younger counterparts,” said Bill von Hippel of the University of Queensland, who led the study.

The reason for this social resilience seems to lie in how older and younger adults perceive their social activities.

The research indicated that if a young and old person went through the same experience, the latter is likely to find it more uplifting.

As part of the study, von Hippel measured social activities and social satisfaction in older adults between the ages of 66 and 91, and younger adults between the ages of 18 and 30.

Older adults appear to see the good things in life more easily and are less likely to be upset by the little things that go wrong.

“As a consequence, their daily experiences bring them just as much satisfaction as younger adults, even if they have lost friends or a spouse, or if they can no longer get out as much as they would like.

“This may be the wisdom of ageing, the ability to experience everyday life as uplifting,” said Hippel.

The findings of the study have been published in the June issue of the American Psychological Association’s journal Psychology and Aging.

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