Coping with retirement: well-being, health and religion

Michael Lowis, Anthony Edwards, Mary Burton

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


The number of elderly people is increasing, and the authors aimed to identi-fy variables associated with older adults' ability to cope with their retirement years. In this study, 133 community-dwelling men and women (M age = 72 years, SD age = 7.6 years) completed a battery of self-report measures. A path analysis showed that internal locus of control (LOC) and good self-rated health were direct predictors of the criterion variable of life coping. However, whereas health remained a standalone variable, faith in nature and humanity (positive correlation) and the use of coping religion (negative correlation) predicted LOC. Thus, LOC may play a mediatory role between the latter 2 variables and life coping. In turn, spirituality was a predictor of both the faith in nature and humanity variable and the coping religion variable. Additional findings include a positive correla-tion between self-rated health and seniority of preretirement occupation, a higher health rating for house dwellers compared with bungalow dwellers, and a negative correlation between age and self-rated health. The authors offer some explanations for the outcomes and suggest that the findings will be valuable to those who are responsible for the social welfare of retired people. THIS STUDY ON COPING MECHANISMS used by retired, community-dwelling adults is a part of an ongoing, cross-disciplinary research program on older adults being conducted at the University of Northampton. Among others, it draws on two earlier research projects: one concerning the role of religion in mediating the transition to residential care (Lowis et al., 2005) and the other concerning supplementary analyses of data on engagement in productivity occupations that Knight et al. (2007) previously assembled. Demographic trends confirmed the rapid increases in older age groups, at least in developed countries. The U.K. Office for National Statistics (ONS) stated, " The U.K. has an aging population—the result of declines in the mortality
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-448
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2009


  • Coping
  • Elderly
  • Health
  • Locus of control
  • Satisfaction


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