Wisdom and Well-being Across the Lifespan

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    Considered the pinnacle of psychosocial development, and the outcome of a long, well-lived life, wisdom ostensibly confers advantages to persons who possess it. Nevertheless, the relationship among wisdom, aging, and well-being is still not fully understood. This study investigated the relationship between wisdom and several measures of wellbeing across the lifespan. Participants included 186 male and 326 female Dutch adults ranging in age from 17 – 92 (M = 46.46, SD = 21.37) who completed measures of wisdom (Self-Assessed Wisdom Scale, Webster, 2010), personality (NEO-FFI, Costa & McCrae, 1992), mental health (Mental Health Continuum, Keyes et al., 2008) physical health (General Health Questionnaire, Goldberg, 1978), and a balanced time perspective (Balanced Time Perspective Scale, Webster, 2011). A series of 2 (wisdom) by 3 (age) ANOVA’s revealed main effects for both variables in support of hypotheses. Main study findings revealed that wisdom was unrelated to physical health but positively related to openness to experience, mental health, and a balanced time perspective. Overall, midlife adults scored higher on wisdom than either younger or older participants. Older adults scored lower on physical and mental health, openness, and the use of a balanced time perspective. The results are discussed from a lifespan perspective in which gains and losses contribute to conditions in which midlife adults show high levels of wisdom and well-being.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)297-297
    Number of pages1
    JournalThe Gerontologist
    Issue numberSuppl. 2
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2011
    Event64th Annual Scientific Meeting of The Gerontological Society of America 2011: Lifestyle→Lifespan - Boston, United States
    Duration: 18 Nov 201122 Nov 2011
    Conference number: 64


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