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Title: Future-directed thinking and its relationship to subjective wellbeing in older adults
Author: Corlett, Holly
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 6430
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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Clinical psychology research has often explored what contributes to subjective well-being. One field with links to subjective well-being is future-directed thinking. This has been investigated in working-age adults but little research exists examining how this changes as we age and comparing age groups. The aim of the study was to determine whether older and younger adults differ in the number of positive and negative future thoughts generated and how future thinking correlated with subjective well-being in these groups. Exploratory analysis examined whether there was a difference in their thinking for different time periods and in the content of their future thoughts. Twenty six younger adults (20-35yrs) and 39 older adults (60+ yrs) were recruited. They completed the Future Thinking Task which asks participants to generate thoughts about events they are and are not looking forward to in three future time periods, and measures of subjective well-being. Older adults generated significantly fewer positive future thoughts about the next five to ten years and significantly fewer negative future thoughts than younger adults. Negative future thinking for the next year and five to ten years correlated with satisfaction with life and depression in older adults. In younger adults there was a significant positive correlation between satisfaction with life and positive future thoughts about the next week. Content data showed that younger adults generated more thoughts about creating new social connections, work and education than older adults. Older adults thought more about activity and occupation and health and welfare. The findings support aspects of existing literature around future-directed thinking in younger adults and help to elucidate how this changes as we age.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: future thinking ; older adults ; future-directed thinking ; wellbeing ; subjective wellbeing ; depression ; anxiety ; satisfaction with life ; age ; aging