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Open AccessArticle

Psychosocial Determinants of Quality of Life and Active Aging. A Structural Equation Model

1
Department of Social Work, National Distance Education University (UNED), C/ Obispo Trejo, 2, 28040 Madrid, Spain
2
Department of Administrative Sciences, Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO), Bureau, B-2072, Pavillon Lucien-Brault, 101, rue Saint-Jean-Bosco, Gatineau, QC K1C 5J7, Canada
3
Department of Basic Psychology II, National Distance Education University (UNED), C/ Juan del Rosal, 10, 28040 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6023; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176023
Received: 12 July 2020 / Revised: 6 August 2020 / Accepted: 11 August 2020 / Published: 19 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Determinants of Health and Population Ageing)
Population aging is the 21st century’s predominant demographic event. The old-age dependency ratio is projected to rise sharply in the next decades. Variables of health-related quality of life can be useful in designing interventions for promoting active aging to prevent dependency and save governments’ budgets. This study aims to find a model capable of explaining how psychosocial variables are related to improved quality of life during active aging, and if this relationship varies with age. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to examine the relationships among the availability of social resources, memory, depression, and perception of quality of life from three community senior centers in Madrid (Spain) in a sample of 128 older adult volunteers. The results suggest a psychosocial model where the availability of social support improves quality of life and explicit memory, reduces depression in active older adults, and where there are two main elements for understanding quality of life: perception of health and satisfaction. Importantly, age does not modify the interactions between variables, suggesting that their behavior is constant across aging. We concluded that the availability of social resources, understood not only as the people we interact with daily but also other family members, close friends, or institutions that could help in case of an emergency, allows people to avoid isolation and loneliness, increasing satisfaction and well-being in older adults. Professionals and policymakers should promote well-being by incorporating psychosocial variables related to personal satisfaction in the existential project, not only health, functional activity, or a friendly environment. Older adults need to feel that they are not alone, and in this sense, the availability of social resources is key. View Full-Text
Keywords: active aging; memory; quality of life; social support; SEM active aging; memory; quality of life; social support; SEM
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León, L.P.; Mangin, J.P.L.; Ballesteros, S. Psychosocial Determinants of Quality of Life and Active Aging. A Structural Equation Model. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6023.

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