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Webster J.D.,Langara College | Bohlmeijer E.T.,University of Twente | Westerhof G.J.,University of Twente
Aging and Mental Health

Objectives: Despite the centrality of time to the aging process, the well-being consequences of different temporal orientations for optimal aging are poorly understood. We investigate one underexamined area of temporal orientation, namely a balanced time perspective, in a large, lifespan sample from the Netherlands.Method: Participants consisted of 512 Dutch adults ranging in age from 17 to 92 years (Mage = 46.46, SD = 21.37), including 186 male and 326 females. Participants completed a measure of balanced time perspective, mental health, and wisdom.Results: Results indicated that a balanced time perspective uniquely predicted both mental health and wisdom even after controlling for demographic, physical health, and personality variables. Younger adults tended to be more future-oriented relative to older adults while older adults tended to be more past-oriented relative to younger adults. Further, both midlife and younger adults were more likely to have a balanced time perspective relative to older adults.Conclusion: A balanced time perspective is associated with higher well-being and wisdom across the adult age span. © 2014 Taylor & Francis. Source

Webster J.D.,Langara College | Westerhof G.J.,University of Twente | Bohlmeijer E.T.,University of Twente
Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences

Objectives.The relationships between wisdom and age and between wisdom and mental health are complex with empirical results often inconsistent. We used a lifespan sample and broad, psychometrically sound measures of wisdom and mental health to test for possible age trends in wisdom and its subcomponents and the relationship between wisdom and hedonic and eudaimonic aspects of well-being.Method.Participants included 512 Dutch adults ranging in age from 17 to 92 (Mage = 46.46, SD = 21.37), including 186 men and 326 women. Participants completed measures of wisdom, physical health, mental health, and personality.Results.Significant quadratic trends indicated that middle-aged adults scored higher on wisdom than younger and older adults. Investigation of wisdom subcomponents illustrated that a complex pattern of increases and decreases in different aspects of wisdom helped account for these age findings. Bivariate correlations showed the expected positive association between wisdom and mental health. Hierarchic regression analyses indicated that the positive association between wisdom and mental health remained significant after accounting for demographic variables (i.e., sex, age, education) and personality traits (i.e., neuroticism, extraversion, and openness to experience). Discussion.Age trends in the components of wisdom (older adults higher in life experience but lower in openness relative to younger and middle-aged adults) help explain the curvilinear pattern showing an advantage in wisdom for middle-aged adults. The greater association between wisdom and eudaimonic well-being suggests that wise persons enhance mental health by pursuing meaningful activities. © 2012 © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. Source

Healthcare providers and patients are often disappointed by the level of care public hospitals can deliver. The remedy is to lower expectations. Providers should be brought to see their obligations as only to give the best care resources allow. The public should be clearly told what care hospitals can and cannot provide and involved in decision-making. Healthcare leaders can play innovative roles in both these remedies. © 2016 The Canadian College of Health Leaders. All rights reserved. Source

Westerhof G.J.,University of Twente | Bohlmeijer E.,University of Twente | Webster J.D.,Langara College
Ageing and Society

This article explores recent progress in theory, research and practical applications of reminiscence. It first describes the evidence for reminiscence as a naturally occurring process, and discusses the different functions of reminiscence and their relationships with mental health and lifespan processes. Three basic types of reminiscence that relate to mental health are specified: conversations about autobiographical memories and the use of personal recollections to teach and inform others have social functions; positive functions for the self include the integration of memories into identity, recollections of past problem-solving behaviours, and the use of memories to prepare for one's own death; negative functions for the self are the use of past memories to reduce boredom, to revive bitterness, or to maintain intimacy with deceased persons. It is proposed that in interventions the three types are addressed differently: simple reminiscence stimulates social reminiscence and bonding and promotes positive feelings; life review uses the positive functions to enhance personal wellbeing; and life-review therapy seeks to reduce the negative uses and thereby alleviate symptoms of mental illness. Studies of the effectiveness of interventions have provided some evidence that interventions are effective in relation to their goals. The review closes with recommended directions for future reminiscence research. Copyright © 2010 Cambridge University Press. Source

Taylor M.,Swinburne University of Technology | Bates G.,Swinburne University of Technology | Webster J.D.,Langara College
Experimental Aging Research

Two recently developed scales of wisdom were compared on their abilities to have their dimensional structure replicated and to predict relevant personality (i.e., forgiveness) and life satisfaction (i.e., psychological well-being) variables. One hundred and seventy-six primarily (71%) Australian participants ranging in age from 18 to 68 years (M=36.60, SD=12.07) completed an online survey of the Self-Assessed Wisdom Scale (SAWS; Webster, 2003, Journal of Adult Development, 10, 13-22; 2007, International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 65, 163-183), the Three-Dimensional Wisdom Scale (3D-WS; Ardelt, 2003, Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 52B, 15-27), the Heartland Forgiveness Scale (Thompson et al., 2005, Journal of Personality, 73, 313-360), Ryff's (1989, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 1069-1081) measure of psychological well-being (PWB), and a measure of social desirability (BIDR; Paulhus, 1984, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46, 598-609). Results indicated that the dimensional structure of the SAWS, but not the 3D-WS, replicated, and the 3D-WS, but not the SAWS, was contaminated by a social desirability response bias. Both scales predicted equally well PWB and forgiveness in predicted directions. Implications for future use of both scales are discussed. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Source

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