How stressful is retirement? Findings from the normative aging study
Many researchers consider retirement to be a highly stressful event, and have inferred based on indirect evidence that it is associated with a number of problems, such as an increased suicide rate. But little research has focused on the direct effects that retirement may have on people. Recent research on retirement has focused in two general directions. One focus has been on directly measuring stress experienced by retirees. The other has assumed that retirement is not a stressful event for all people and has focused on the characteristics of people who do find retirement stressful. This study examined the stress caused by retirement in men, differentiating between retirement transition stress experienced in the first year, and retirement state stress experienced from being retired after the transitional first year. The study also examined whether personality traits related to a perception of stress caused by retirement. A questionnaire was sent to 1,565 men who were participants in the Boston Veterans Administration Normative Aging Study and 1,516 questionnaires were returned, 676 (45 percent) from retirees and 840 (55 percent) from men who were still working. Results showed that stress from transition for those in the first year of retirement was considered minimal to nonexistent by 69.9 percent of the men. When asked to identify the most troubling experience in the prior three months related to work or retirement, 68.9 percent of the retirees reported no problems with 6.2 percent responding that boredom was the major problem and 6.1 percent stating that finances were. Among the workers, 64.9 percent reported problems. Retirement was rated the least stressful life event on a list of 31 events, but 31.1 percent of the retirees did report some problems associated with it. When personality factors were correlated with retirement-related stress, poor health, family finances, and marital problems were found to be associated with feelings of stress from retirement. These results indicate that retirement is not a universally stressful event, but that it is for persons with certain personality types or for whom retirement has negative implications. (Consumer Summary produced by Reliance Medical Information, Inc.)
Publication Name: Journals of Gerontology
Change in social support after retirement: longitudinal findings from the Normative Aging Study
To test theories on post-retirement social support, questionnaires on social support and employment status were sent in 1985 and 1988 to members of the Normative Aging Study (NAS) group. Changes in employment status produced no apparent qualitative or quantitative changes in social support as perceived by these subjects. Although long-time retirees reported the least amount of social support and full-time workers reported the most, no differences in quality of support were reported. There was no significant relationship between time and employment status for coworker friendship support.
Publication Name: Journals of Gerontology
Longitudinal findings from the normative aging study: personally, individual health trajectories, and mortality, III
Research examines whether personality affects health and individual behavior differences in health trajectories across the life span. Results indicate that a complex combination of personality traits, health behavior traits coupled with socioeconomic factors influence maintaining optimal health despite old age.
Publication Name: Psychology and Aging
- Abstracts: Daily stressors and memory failures in a naturalistic setting: Findings from the VA normative aging study
- Abstracts: A systemic-wholistic approach to differential aging: Longitudinal findings from the Berlin Aging Study. No aging bias favoring memory for positive material: Evidence from a heterogeneity-homogeneity list paradigm using emotionally toned words
- Abstracts: Just get out door! Importance of walking outside the home for maintaining mobility: findings from the women's health and aging study
- Abstracts: Outcomes-based quality improvement: reducing the data collection burden. Factors associated with home versus institutional death among cancer patients in Connecticut
- Abstracts: Management of the older person with ventricular arrythmias. Of worms and women: sarcopenia and its role in disability and mortality