Frailty, leisure activity and functional status in older adults: Relationship with subjective well being

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Taylor & Francis


Older adults generally experience high levels of life satisfaction (e.g., Charles & Carstensen, 2010 Charles, S.T. and Carstensen, L.L. 2010. Social and emotional aspects of aging. Annual Review of Psychology, 61: 383–409. [CrossRef], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®] ) and participation in leisure activities may mediate some of their overall well-being. Frailty associated with biological aging may be related to reduced leisure activity engagement and loss of social belonging that may diminish life satisfaction (Charles, 2011). This study examined differences in leisure activity engagement by frailty status, and then tested a model evaluating the link between functional status and subjective well-being in a sample of 95 community-dwelling older adults. Participants completed self-report questionnaires that assessed leisure activity participation, life satisfaction, frailty, and mood. Leisure activities were coded as either social (e.g., taking classes) or solitary (e.g., reading) and summed across to create two composite scores. Results indicated there was a strong relationship between functional status and subjective well-being in older adults. High frailty and low social leisure engagement was associated with reduced subjective well-being. Implications for future research and clinical applications are discussed.