Life regrets and subjective well-being in older adults.

Ann O'Brien, Anthony Thompson

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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This study investigated several aspects of life regrets in older adults, including the relationships between regret characteristics (number reported, negative consequences, intensity) and subjective well-being (life satisfaction, depressive symptoms) One hundred and thirteen female and 45 male participants (aged 65 to 94 years), predominantly residing in suburban areas of Sydney and Wollongong, completed written questionnaires. Slightly more than half the respondents reported having one or more life regrets. Regrets most commonly related to the life domains of education, career, marriage and romantic relationships, parenting and self-development. Participants with no life regrets reported greater life satisfaction than those with three or more regrets. Number of regrets was not related to depressive symptoms. In order to further explore the relationship between life regrets and subjective well-being, a measure of dispositional negativity and of physical health were considered in combination with two aspects of regrets (negative consequences and intensity). Multiple regression analyses showed that, after controlling for the effects of dispositional negativity and physical health, regret consequences contributed uniquely to predicting both measures of subjective well-being. However, regret intensity appeared more influential than regret consequences for the prediction of depressive symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication43rd APS annual conference
Subtitle of host publicationPsychology leading change
EditorsNicholas Voudouris
Place of PublicationFlinders Lane, Victoria
PublisherAPS Press
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780909881368
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventAustralian Psychological Society (APS) Annual Conference - Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Duration: 22 Sept 200926 Sept 2009


ConferenceAustralian Psychological Society (APS) Annual Conference


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