Vol. 5 nº 3 - Jul/Aug/Set de 2011
Original Article Páginas: 216 a 225

Subjective and psychological well-being of students of a University of the Third Age: Benefits of continuing education for psychological adjustment in the elderly

Authors Tiago Nascimento Ordonez1; Thaís Bento Lima-Silva2; Meire Cachioni3


keywords: continuing education, subjective well-being, psychological well-being, sense of psychological adjustment.

Objectives: The present study sought to characterize the degree of general satisfaction with life and degree of satisfaction on four domains: health, physical capacity, mental capacity and social involvement, and to determine the characteristics of self-reports of individuals enrolled on the program in relation to their psychological well-being focusing on the dimensions: autonomy, personal growth, control, positive relationships with others, purpose, personal acceptance and generativity, and to analyse the effect of time studying on level of well-being. Method: A total of 140 elderly students of a University for the Third Age took part in the study. The Global Satisfaction With Life Scale and the Self Development Scale (with six psychological well-being subscales) were applied. Continuous variables for the two groups were compared using the Mann-Whitney test. Spearman's correlation coefficient was used to analyze the relationship among numeric variables. Internal consistency of the instrument scales was analysed by calculating Cronbach's alpha coefficient. Results: Results showed that students who had attended the University of the Third Age for six months or longer had a higher level of satisfaction with life and greater psychological adjustment compared with new entrants to the same institution. Conclusion: The study results confirmed the positive effects of continuing education on the well-being of elderly and its contribution to successful aging.


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