Doing Well By Doing Good: Exploring the Relationship Between Political Participation and Older People's Hedonic and Eudaimonic Well-Being

Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal BIG 1 (Main Building)
Distributed Paper
Rodrigo SERRAT, University of Barcelona, Spain
Feliciano VILLAR, University of Barcelona, Spain
This study brings together two research fields of growing research interest in later life: civic participation and well-being. The aim of the study is to explore the relationship between political participation, as one important type of participation that has received little attention in the literature to date, and well-being. Furthermore, by exploring different dimensions of personal well-being, we also contribute to our understanding of this concept in later life. We designed a quasi-experimental study. Data were collected from 182 participants recruited from two samples. The first sample consisted of 97 participants purposively selected from three kinds of political organisations in Catalonia (Spain): political parties, trade unions and single-issue organisations. The second sample, used as a comparison group, consisted of 85 participants involved in two university programmes for older people. Participants completed a survey which included socio-demographic information, measures of political participation, and measures of hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. A series of one-way between groups analysis of covariance (ANCOVAs) were performed, using socio-demographic variables as the covariates. Controlling for socio-demographic variables, participants in political organisations showed significantly higher scores on eudaimonic well-being. No significant differences were found among samples on hedonic well-being. Suggestions for future research and social policy implications are discussed in light of the results.