Benefit finding and well-being in older adults: The utility of the General Benefit Finding Scale.
Tony Cassidy
Ulster University Cromore Road Coleraine N Ireland BT52 1SA
http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0547-6086
Ingrid Doyle
Ulster University
PDF

Keywords

benefit finding
age
mental well-being
support
personality
PDF

Abstract

 

The research aim was to test the General Benefit Finding Scale (GBFS) in a cross-sectional survey of adults aged 55 years and older and to assess to what extent it relates to mental well-being, perceived social support, health and personality. Participants (n=341) completed a questionnaire which included demographic questions, the GBFS, and measures of mental well-being, perceived social support, activity levels, and personality. Benefit finding was higher in older adults and correlated positively with mental well-being and perceived support. The impact of the psychosocial factors investigated on benefit finding levels was small (9.2%) with mental well-being, sex and agreeableness being significant predictors. The study provides additional support for the use of the GBFS and suggests that perceived social support, particularly from friends, is especially important for older adults.

PDF

References

Affleck, G., Tennen, H., Croog, S., & Levine, S. (1987). Causal attribution, perceived benefits, and morbidity after a heart attack: an 8-year study. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 55(1), 29.

Allemand, M., Schaffhuser, K., & Martin, M. (2015). Long-term correlated change between personality traits and perceived social support in middle adulthood. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41(3), 420–432.

Baird, B. M., Lucas, R. E., & Donnellan, M. B. (2010). Life satisfaction across the lifespan: Findings from two nationally representative panel studies. Social indicators research, 99(2), 183–203.

Boehmer, U., Glickman, M., Winter, M., & Clark, M. A. (2014). Coping and benefit finding among longterm breast cancer survivors of different sexual orientations. Women & Therapy, 37 (3-4), 222–241.

Bower, J. E., Kemeny, M. E., Taylor, S. E., & Fahey, J. L. (1998). Cognitive processing, discovery of meaning, CD4 decline, and AIDS-related mortality among bereaved HIV-seropositive men. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 66(6), 979.

Brand, C., Barry, L., & Gallagher, S. (2016). Social support mediates the association between benefit finding and quality of life in caregivers. Journal of health psychology, 21(6), 1126–1136.

Cassidy, T., McLaughlin, M., & Giles, M. (2014). Benefit finding in response to general life stress: measurement and correlates. Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine: an Open Access Journal, 2(1),268–282.

Chopik, W. J., Kim, E. S., & Smith, J. (2015). Changes in optimism are associated with changes in health over time among older adults. Social psychological and personality science, 6(7), 814–822.

Deary, I. J., Weiss, A., & Batty, G. D. (2010). Intelligence and personality as predictors of illness and death: How researchers in differential psychology and chronic disease epidemiology are collaborating to understand and address health inequalities. Psychological science in the public interest, 11(2), 53–79.

Department of Health. (2015, August). Healthy and positive ageing initiative: Preliminary report, may 2015. Retrieved from https://www.dcu.ie/sites/default/files/afu/DOH_Positive_ageing_report.pdf

Diener, E., Oishi, S., & Lucas, R. E. (2015). National accounts of subjective well-being. American Psychologist, 70(3), 234.

Dunn, J., Occhipinti, S., Campbell, A., Ferguson, M., & Chambers, S. K. (2011). Benefit finding after cancer: The role of optimism, intrusive thinking and social environment. Journal of Health Psychology, 16(1), 169–177.

Frazier, P., Tennen, H., Gavian, M., Park, C., Tomich, P., & Tashiro, T. (2009). Does self-reported posttraumatic growth reflect genuine positive change? Psychological Science, 20(7), 912–919.

Goodwin, R. D., & Friedman, H. S. (2006). Health status and the five-factor personality traits in a nationally representative sample. Journal of health psychology, 11(5), 643–654.

Gunty, A. L., Frazier, P. A., Tennen, H., Tomich, P., Tashiro, T., & Park, C. (2011). Moderators of the relation between perceived and actual posttraumatic growth. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 3(1), 61.

Helgeson, V. S., Reynolds, K. A., & Tomich, P. L. (2006). A meta-analytic review of benefit finding and growth. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 74(5), 797.

Hicks, M. M., & Conner, N. E. (2014). Resilient ageing: a concept analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 70(4), 744–755.

Honeycutt, J. M., Nasser, K. A., Banner, J. M., Mapp, C. M., & DuPont, B. W. (2008). Individual differences in catharsis, emotional valence, trauma anxiety, and social networks among hurricane Katrina and Rita victims. Southern Communication Journal, 73(3), 229–242.

Hooper, D., Coughlan, J., & Mullen, M. (2008). Structural equation modelling: Guidelines for determining model fit. Articles, 2.

Howarter, A. D., & Bennett, K. K. (2013). Perceived discrimination and health-related quality of life: Testing the reserve capacity model in Hispanic Americans. The Journal of social psychology, 153(1), 62–79.

Huxhold, O., Fiori, K. L., & Windsor, T. D. (2013). The dynamic interplay of social network characteristics, subjective well-being, and health: The costs and benefits of socio-emotional selectivity. Psychology and Aging, 28(1), 3.

Huxhold, O., Miche, M., & Schüz, B. (2013). Benefits of having friends in older ages: Differential effects of informal social activities on well-being in middle-aged and older adults. Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 69(3), 366–375.

Jivraj, S., Nazroo, J., Vanhoutte, B., & Chandola, T. (2014). Aging and subjective well-being in later life. Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 69(6), 930–941.

Kleim, B., & Ehlers, A. (2009). Evidence for a curvilinear relationship between posttraumatic growth and posttrauma depression and PTSD in assault survivors. Journal of Traumatic Stress: Official Publication of The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, 22(1), 45–52.

Kline, R. B., et al. (2005). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling: Methodology in the social sciences (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Lamping, D. L., Schroter, S., Marquis, P., Marrel, A., Duprat-Lomon, I., & Sagnier, P.-P. (2002). The community-acquired pneumonia symptom questionnaire: a new, patient-based outcome measure to evaluate symptoms in patients with community-acquired pneumonia. Chest, 122(3), 920–929.

Lubben, J., Blozik, E., Gillmann, G., Iliffe, S., von Renteln Kruse, W., Beck, J. C., & Stuck, A. E. (2006). Performance of an abbreviated version of the Lubben Social Network Scale among three European community-dwelling older adult populations. The Gerontologist, 46(4), 503–513.

Lubben, J. E. (1988). Assessing social networks among elderly populations. Family & Community Health: The Journal of Health Promotion & Maintenance. Măirean, C. (2016). Secondary traumatic stress and posttraumatic growth: Social support as a moderator. The Social Science Journal, 53(1), 14–21.

McConkey, R., & Leavey, G. (2013). Irish attitudes to sexual relationships and people with intellectual disability. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 41(3), 181–188.

McGregor, B. A., & Antoni, M. H. (2009). Psychological intervention and health outcomes among women treated for breast cancer: a review of stress path ways and biological mediators. Brain, behavior, and immunity, 23(2), 159–166.

McKee, K. J., & Schüz, B. (2015). Psychosocial factors in healthy ageing. Taylor & Francis.

Momtaz, Y. A., Haron, S. A., Ibrahim, R., & Hamid, T. A. (2014). Social embeddedness as a mechanism for linking social cohesion to well-being among older adults: moderating effect of gender. Clinical interventions in aging, 9, 863.

Morrison, V., & Bennett, P. (2012). An Introduction to Health Psychology (3rd ed.). Essex: Pearson Education Ltd.

Pascoe, L., & Edvardsson, D. (2013). Benefit finding in cancer: a review of influencing factors and health outcomes. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 17 (6), 760–766.

Pilkington, R., Taylor, A. W., Hugo, G., & Wittert, G. (2014). Are baby boomers healthier than generation x? a profile of australia’s working generations using national health survey data. PloS one, 9(3), e93087.

Poon, C. Y. M., & Knight, B. G. (2013). Parental emotional support during emerging adulthood and baby boomers’ well-being in midlife. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 37 (6), 498–504.

Rafnsson, S. B., Shankar, A., & Steptoe, A. (2015). Longitudinal influences of social network characteristics on subjective well-being of older adults: findings from the ELSA study. Journal of Aging and Health, 27 (5), 919–934.

Rammstedt, B., & John, O. P. (2007). Measuring personality in one minute or less: A 10-item short version of the Big Five Inventory in English and German. Journal of research in Personality, 41(1), 203–212.

Shakespeare-Finch, J., & Lurie-Beck, J. (2014). A metaanalytic clarification of the relationship between posttraumatic growth and symptoms of posttraumatic distress disorder. Journal of anxiety disorders, 28(2), 223–229.

Silva, A. G., Queirós, A., Alvarelhão, J., & Rocha, N. P. (2014). Validity and reliability of the Portuguese version of the rapid assessment of physical activity questionnaire. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 21(10), 469–474.

Sim, B. Y., Lee, Y. W., Kim, H., & Kim, S. H. (2015). Post-traumatic growth in stomach cancer survivors: Prevalence, correlates and relationship with healthrelated quality of life. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 19(3), 230–236.

Smith, S. C., Lamping, D. L., Banerjee, S., Harwood, R., Foley, B., Smith, P., … others (2005). Measurement of health-related quality of life for people with dementia: development of a new instrument (DEMQOL) and an evaluation of current methodology. Health Technology Assessment (Winchester, England), 9(10), 1–93.

Stewart-Brown, S., Tennant, A., Tennant, R., Platt, S., Parkinson, J., & Weich, S. (2009). Internal construct validity of the Warwick-Edinburgh mental well-being scale (WEMWBS): a Rasch analysis using data from the Scottish health education population survey. Health and quality of life outcomes, 7 (1), 15.

Tampubolon, G. (2015). Delineating the third age: joint models of older people’s quality of life and attrition in britain 2002–2010. Aging & mental health, 19(7), 576–583.

Tennant, R., Hiller, L., Fishwick, R., Platt, S., Joseph, S., Weich, S., … Stewart-Brown, S. (2007). The warwick-edinburgh mental well-being scale (WEMWBS): development and UK validation. Health and Quality of life Outcomes, 5(1), 63.

Tennen, H., & Affleck, G. (2002). Benefit-finding and benefit-reminding. Handbook of positive psychology, 1, 584–597.

Topolski, T. D., LoGerfo, J., Patrick, D. L., Williams, B., Walwick, J., & Patrick, M. A. J. M. B. (2006). Peer reviewed: the Rapid Assessment of Physical Activity (RAPA) among older adults. Preventing chronic disease, 3(4). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2006/oct/06_0001.htm

Tsai, J., El-Gabalawy, R., Sledge, W. H., Southwick, S. M., & Pietrzak, R. H. (2015). Post-traumatic growth among veterans in the USA: results from the national health and resilience in veterans study. Psychological Medicine, 45(1), 165–179.

Twenge, J. M. (2014). Generation me-revised and updated: Why today’s young americans are more confident, assertive, entitled–and more miserable than ever before. Simon and Schuster.

Urcuyo, K. R., Boyers, A. E., Carver, C. S., & Antoni, M. H. (2005). Finding benefit in breast cancer: Relations with personality, coping, and concurrent well-being. Psychology & Health, 20(2), 175–192.

Vega-López, S., Chavez, A., Farr, K. J., & Ainsworth, B. E. (2014). Validity and reliability of two brief physical activity questionnaires among Spanish-speaking individuals of Mexican descent. BMC research notes, 7 (1), 29.

Weiss, A., Bates, T. C., & Luciano, M. (2008). Happiness is a personal (ity) thing: The genetics of personality and well-being in a representative sample. Psychological Science, 19(3), 205–210.

Wheatley, A. (2013). Ageing population a ticking timebomb for eu. Irish Examiner. Retrieved from http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/ageing-population-a-ticking-timebomb-248936.html

WHO. (1947). Constitution of the world health organisation. Geneva: World Health Organisation.

WHO. (2012). Risk factors of ill health among older people. Retrieved from http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/Life-stages/healthy-ageing/data-and-statistics/risk-factors-of-ill-health-among-older-people

Wilson, R. S., Krueger, K. R., Arnold, S. E., Schneider, J. A., Kelly, J. F., Barnes, L. L., … Bennett, D. A. (2007). Loneliness and risk of alzheimer disease. Archives of general psychiatry, 64(2), 234–240.

Zaninotto, P., Falaschetti, E., & Sacker, A. (2009). Age trajectories of quality of life among older adults: results from the english longitudinal study of ageing. Quality of Life Research, 18(10), 1301–1309.

Zoellner, T., & Maercker, A. (2006). Posttraumatic growth in clinical psychology—a critical review and introduction of a two component model. Clinical psychology review, 26(5), 626–653.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The work that is sent to this journal must be original, not published or sent to be published elsewhere; and if it is accepted for publication, authors will agree to transfer copyright to International Journal of Psychological Research. 

To give up copyright, the authors allow that, International Journal of Psychological Research, distribute the work more broadly, check for the reuse by others and take care of the necessary procedures for the registration and administration of copyright; at the same time, our editorial board represents the interests of the author and allows authors to re-use his work in various forms. In response to the above, authors transfer copyright to the journal, International Journal of Psychological Research. This transfer does not imply other rights which are not those of authorship (for example those that concern about patents). Likewise, preserves the authors rights to use the work integral or partially in lectures, books and courses, as well as make copies for educational purposes. Finally, the authors may use freely the tables and figures in its future work, wherever make explicit reference to the previous publication in International Journal of Psychological Research. The assignment of copyright includes both virtual rights and forms of the article to allow the editorial to disseminate the work in the manner which it deems appropriate. 

The editorial board reserves the right of amendments deemed necessary in the application of the rules of publication.