Life satisfaction among individuals 50 years or older: Why living arrangements matter?

Rashmita Basu, Huabin Luo, Adrienne C. Steiner


Growing research recognizes the importance of evaluating life satisfaction in promoting psychological well-being (PWB) among middle-aged and older adults due to its heightened importance for public health relevance. The current study assessed the relationship between life satisfaction and living arrangement among U.S. adults aged 50 years or older and whether this relationship varies by gender. We used the Health and Retirement Study data from 2010-2014 (7,163 respondents), a nationally representative cohort of U.S. adults aged 50 years or older. The outcome variable was the measure of satisfaction with life on a continuous scale (1-7). The categorical independent variable was individuals’ living arrangements status (living with a spouse/partners (reference category), living alone, living with others; measured in the 2012 wave. We conducted a Generalized linear model in our regression analysis. Controlling for demographic, socioeconomic, and health-related factors, individuals who lived alone or lived with others had significantly lower life satisfaction (β = -0.21, 95% CI [-0.31, -0.11]) and (β = -0.23, 95% CI [-0.38, 0.08]) respectively, compared to those who lived with a spouse/partner. These findings suggest public health policies and programs may need to find ways to increase supportive resources for people living alone or living with others to promote life satisfaction, which is a protective factor for good health.

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International Journal of Healthcare  ISSN 2377-7338(Print)  ISSN 2377-7346(Online)

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