Scientific article
Open access

Life satisfaction trajectories of elderly women living in Switzerland: an age–period–cohort analysis

Published inAgeing and society, vol. 36, no. 01, p. 106-132
Publication date2016

Old age is a priori a vulnerable stage of the life course. Quality of life can be expected to decline in older age due to loss, isolation, declining cognitive and physical abilities. The purpose of this study was to investigate the distribution, prevalence and trajectory of Life Satisfaction (LS) as a measure of quality of life among Swiss elderly women. We also assessed the impact of different social determinants on life satisfaction within the age categories of the ‘young old' and the ‘old old' across different cohorts. Using the Swiss Household Panel (SHP) survey data, analyses of LS distribution and trajectories were conducted for 1,402 women aged 65 to 84 years. About 50 per cent of elderly women in Switzerland were very satisfied with their lives. The mean LS score and the prevalence of satisfied women were lower in more recent cohorts of identical ages. However their life satisfaction remained more stable over ageing than was the case in former cohorts. High education, satisfaction with income, social support, living with a partner and good self-perceived health were all positive and significant predictors of life satisfaction. Longitudinal analyses allowed to disentangle the ageing process net of cohort and period effects and to assess the influence of both social determinants and within-individual psychological traits on the self-evaluation of LS.

  • Life satisfaction
  • Elderly
  • Women
  • Longitudinal analyses
  • Switzerland
  • Autre - Financement Fondation Leenaards, Lausanne
Citation (ISO format)
BURTON-JEANGROS, Claudine, ZIMMERMANN-SLOUTSKIS, Dorith. Life satisfaction trajectories of elderly women living in Switzerland: an age–period–cohort analysis. In: Ageing and society, 2016, vol. 36, n° 01, p. 106–132. doi: 10.1017/S0144686X14001044
Main files (1)
Article (Accepted version)
ISSN of the journal0144-686X

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