Social relationships and health as predictors of life satisfaction in advanced old age: results from a Swedish longitudinal study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This longitudinal study examines the relationship between family and friend social support, health, and life satisfaction for a single cohort of eighty-year-old persons living in Lund, Sweden. Results indicate that participants who remained in the study are healthier and score higher on life satisfaction when compared with those who either drop-out or die prior to age eighty-three. Even though well-integrated with family and friends, the number of friends decreases significantly from eighty to eighty-three years; those who reported no close friends nearly doubled from eighty to eighty-three years. However, for those with close friends, contact with friends increases with age. In contrast to previous research, a correlational analysis indicates that neither child nor friend support is related to life satisfaction at either eighty or eighty-three years. However, health measures and satisfaction with sibling contact are related to total life satisfaction at age eighty-three only. These findings indicate the multidimensionality of both social support and life satisfaction for the old-old.


  • C McCamish-Svensson
  • Gillis Samuelsson
  • Bo Hagberg
  • Torbjörn Svensson
  • Ove Dehlin
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences
  • Occupational Therapy


  • Follow up study, Satisfaction, Attitude, Daily living, Social support, Familial relation, Interpersonal relation, Social interaction, Social development, Elderly, Human
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-324
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division of Occupational Therapy (Closed 2012) (013025000), Department of Psychology (012010000), Division of Geriatric Medicine (013040040)