Hauber, Daniel ORCID: 0000-0001-9068-4546, Kaspar, Roman ORCID: 0000-0002-5829-2363 and Zank, Susanne (2021). WWII traumatic events, subjective well-being and valuation of life in the very old. Z. Gerontol. Geriatr., 54 (SUPPL 2). S. 126 - 132. HEIDELBERG: SPRINGER HEIDELBERG. ISSN 1435-1269

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Background Experiencing war is a major trigger for physical and mental health problems. People in the German population who are currently over 80 years of age experienced the Second World War (WWII) as children or adolescents, at a time when psychological vulnerability is high. Empirical results show that positive subjective well-being (SWB) and valuation of life (VoL) in older cohorts are widespread; however, when confronted with existential age-associated changes, many older adults experience increased burden, sometimes bringing biographical vulnerabilities to the forefront. This study investigated SWB and VoL in the very old and examined the influence of negative WWII experiences on these outcomes. Method Cross-sectional data from the Survey on quality of life and subjective well-being of the very old in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW80+) are presented. Multiple regression models, adjusted for gender, age, physical health, and full inpatient care, were computed to assess the impact of suffering from the effects of WWII traumatic experiences on SWB and VoL. Results Over 13% spontaneously reported suffering from the effects of WWII events and an additional 29% reported negative experiences when explicitly asked about them. Multiple regression models showed elevated depression scores for participants suffering from the effects of WWII traumatic events. No association with positive affect was found. Suffering from the effects of WWII traumatic events did not influence VoL engagement with life or VoL optimism. Discussion Many very old adults still seem to struggle with the repercussions of WWII traumatic experiences. Future studies could further examine if the missing association with positive affect and VoL is a sign of resilience.

Item Type: Journal Article
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Hauber, DanielUNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0001-9068-4546UNSPECIFIED
Kaspar, RomanUNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0002-5829-2363UNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-567554
DOI: 10.1007/s00391-021-01906-7
Journal or Publication Title: Z. Gerontol. Geriatr.
Volume: 54
Number: SUPPL 2
Page Range: S. 126 - 132
Date: 2021
Place of Publication: HEIDELBERG
ISSN: 1435-1269
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Human Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Human Sciences > Department Heilpädagogik und Rehabilitation > Zentrum für Heilpädagogische Gerontologie
Subjects: Social sciences
Medical sciences Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Geriatrics & Gerontology; GerontologyEnglish
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/56755


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