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Title: Nostalgia and wellbeing across the lifespan
Author: Robertson, Sara
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2013
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In recent years, interest in nostalgia and its many potential benefits has blossomed, yet the nature of nostalgia in older adulthood has remained largely unexplored. This is surprising, given that nostalgia serves many functions which are highly relevant to older adults and which could determine whether they adjust poorly or well to older adulthood. In order to address this shortfall, this thesis reports on research exploring nostalgia and wellbeing across the lifespan. First, I compare the content of nostalgic and ordinary autobiographical memories using multiple coding methods. Results highlight the strong social orientation of nostalgia in older adults (Chapter 2). Second, I examine psychological wellbeing across the lifespan and demonstrate that stability or gains in wellbeing are contingent on nostalgia (Chapter 3). Furthermore, these age-related differences in psychological wellbeing are at least partly driven by a perception of limited time (Chapter 4). Finally, I explore whether there are individual differences in those who stand to benefit most from nostalgia. Results suggest that nostalgia may not meet the affiliative needs of high growth adults as they get older. This is demonstrated across a wide variety of measures, including psychological wellbeing (Chapter 5), subjective wellbeing and health (Chapter 6). Overall, this thesis emphasises the value of taking a lifespan perspective on nostalgia.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine