Barbara J. Stewart

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies and Planning

Physical Description

ix, 188 leaves: graphs 28 cm.


Social psychology, Older people -- United States -- Social conditions, Older people -- United States -- Psychology




This dissertation focused on the relationship between psychological well-being and life situations of older persons. Specifically, this study examined whether life situations were different for persons whose Life Satisfaction Index scores changed over a two-year period compared to those whose scores were stable. The sample included 215 older persons living in reduced circumstances. These persons were interviewed on three occasions separated by one-year intervals. Pearson correlations, analysis of variance, and multiple regression procedures were employed to test five hypotheses. Fourteen case studies were selected to illustrate statistical findings. When the dissertation data were analyzed for each occasion separately, findings from this study regarding correlates of psychological well-being were similar to findings from past studies. However, a different pattern of results emerged from the longitudinal analyses. For the group of persons having stable life satisfaction scores across occasions, life satisfaction was not significantly correlated with health, lack of impairment, or activities. In contrast, change in psychological well-being was significantly related to changes in these life situations. Practical and theoretical implication of the findings as well as directions for future research are discussed.


Portland State University. School of Urban Affairs.

Persistent Identifier