J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2015 Apr;19(1):17-23. 10.0000/jkgp.2015.19.1.17.

The Effects of Stressors on Subjective Well-Being in the Elderly

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea. sjsonpsy@ajou.ac.kr
  • 2Institute on Aging, Ajou University Medical Center, Suwon, Korea.
  • 3Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, Korea University School of Medicine, Ansan, Korea.
  • 5Suwon Geriatric Mental Health Center, Suwon, Korea.
  • 6Memory Impairment Center, Ajou University Hospital, Suwon, Korea.


This study aims to identify self-reported stressors in the Korean community-dwelling elderly and examine their effects on subjective well-being.
The subjects of this research were 1,010 elderly people who lived in Suwon, Korea. Each subject was administered the questionnaires regarding the socio-demographic characteristics, self-reported stressors, Concise Measure of Subjective Well-Being (COMOSWB) consisting of life satisfaction, positive emotion and negative emotion, Mini-Mental State Examination for dementia screening and Short Form Geriatric Depression Scale-Korean version. Statistical analyses including the Pearson's correlation test and multiple linear regressions were performed in this study.
In our adjusted model for confounding variables, stress from physical problems (S-PP) (ss=-0.133, p<0.001), stress from loneliness or solitude (S-LS) (ss=-0.077, p=0.007), stress from family members (S-FM) (ss=-0.083, p=0.001) were negatively associated with the total score of COMOSWB. In subscale analyses of COMOSWB, we also found that S-PP (ss=-0.184, p<0.001), S-LS (ss=-0.077, p=0.014), stress from economic problems (ss=-0.072, p=0.021) were negatively associated with life satisfaction score. While S-PP (ss=-0.140, p<0.001) and S-FM (ss=-0.079, p=0.003) were negatively associated with positive emotion score, S-FM (ss=0.105, p=0.001) and stress from friends and neighbors (ss=0.072, p=0.016) were positively associated with negative emotion score.
Stresses from physical problems, loneliness, and family members might be associated with subjective well-being in the elderly. While life satisfaction appears to be affected by one's perceived physical health status, loneliness, and economic conditions, positive and negative emotions appear to be affected by relationships with family members, friends, or neighbors.


Elderly; Stressors; Subjective well-being; Life satisfaction; Positive emotion; Negative emotion
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