Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Richard Wikoff

Second Advisor

J. Michael Leibowitz

Third Advisor

Bruce J. Horacek


This study investigated life satisfaction correlates of elderly persons living in two residential centers. Based on the theoretical and empirical literature, it was hypothesized that all elderly subjects tested would report high levels of life satisfaction. In addition, it was hypothesized that factors such as health perception, developmental task resolution, locus of control, and satisfaction with one's social network would be related to life satisfaction.

Subjects were recruited from two residential centers for the elderly. The measures were administered to 42 subjects. There were 34 female subjects and 8 male subjects. The elderly subjects were interviewed individually at their place of residence. Life satisfaction was measured by the Life Satisfaction Index (Adams, 1969). The other correlates were measured by well-known instruments. Subjects were allowed several response options including "undecided."

The results should be viewed tentatively. Due to the low reliability of two of the measures, the correlations noted may not reflect the true relationships. Elderly people, in general, do express satisfaction with their lives. The successful completion of developmental tasks proved to be correlated with life satisfaction. In addition, satisfaction with the time the elderly people spent with their family and friends was related to life satisfaction. Neither marital status nor the existence of a confidant were found to be related to satisfaction in this population.

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