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Well-being in Old Age


Wed 26. 8.  11:00 - 12:30
room FA 204

Life satisfaction of the elderly in Switzerland: perspectives on well-being and inequalities in aging


Baeriswyl, Marie; Oris, Michel
University of Geneva, Switzerland

Numerous studies have focused on subjective well-being in old-age, particularly on the paradox of its conservation up to an advanced age despite the declining health conditions and the process of fragilization - if not the loss of autonomy – characterizing this stage of life. The originality of this contribution is to study the results of a psychological test, the life satisfaction scale of Diener and al. (1985), in a social sciences perspective. More specifically, we assess to what extent different individual and social characteristics can explain or are associated with subjective well-being in order to highlight the system of resources around life satisfaction with a particular emphasis on social inequalities issues. In this perspective, we establish different regression models taking into account basic demographical characteristics like sex and age, initial social inequalities (nationality, education) and personal traits (personality traits), elements of the individual life-course (professional and familial) and aspects of economic, health and social capital. Furthermore, the possible association between subjective well-being and different types of social participation will be incorporated to these analyses. Empirically, we will use data from the survey "Vivre-Leben-Vivere: Old Age Democratization? Progresses and Inequalities in Switzerland". This survey on the living and health conditions of people 65 and older in five Swiss regions (Geneva, central Valais, Bern, Basel and Ticino) was carried out in 2011/2012 among a random sample of 3600 persons stratified by region, sex and five-years age group.