Well-Being and Successful Aging Predictors in a Costa Rican Sample of Older Adults

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 16:30
Oral Presentation
Mauricio BLANCO-MOLINA, National University of Costa Rica., Costa Rica
Sacramento PINAZO-HERNANDIS, University of Valencia, Spain
Julian MONTORO-RODRIGUEZ, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA
María JIMENEZ-MARTÍ, Universidad de Valencia, Spain
Purpose: Successful aging was defined as the older adults’ ability to experience low risk of disease and disease-related disability; maintain high mental and physical function; and continue engagement with life, which includes relations with others, supportive and productive activities (Rowe & Kahn, 2015). The model identifies specific mechanisms impacting older adults’ adaptation and satisfaction with life while controlling by a constellation of factors related to health, cognitive and social functioning. This study examines which factors are associated with the life satisfaction of older adults attending a lifelong learning program at the National University of Costa Rica.

Method: Using a questionnaire including socio-demographic information, health, social and psychological factors and wellbeing outcomes, data was collected on a sample of 282 older adults (55 and older) in participating at programs at the National University in Costa Rica. Items referred to variables related to well-being like life satisfaction, spirituality, social support, self-efficacy, social support, self-perceive health, and others. A structural equation model with latent variables were specified and estimated using AMOS.

Results: SEM results indicated a good model fit (Chi-squared 1.426 p<.000; df 726; CFI = .901; RMSEA = .059). Main findings suggested that life satisfaction for older adults attending programs at the National University is primarily impacted by health (physical and emotional troubles, beta = -.17), social and emotional support (beta = .38), self-efficiency (beta = .14) and spirituality (beta = .22) while controlling by age.

Discussion: Results are consistent with the traditional variables included in successful aging models, with particular attention to the significant weight of spirituality and self-efficacy among older adults in Costa Rica. We will discuss the role of attending lifelong learning programs in improving the well-being of older adults.