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Research Article  |   November 1985
Correlates of Life Satisfaction and Depression in Middle-Aged and Elderly Spinal Cord–Injured Persons
Author Affiliations
  • Susan D. Decker, PhD, RN, is Associate Professor of Community and Mental Health Nursing, School of Nursing, University of Portland, Portland, OR 97203
  • Richard Schulz, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Gerontology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Article Information
Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Mental Health / Neurologic Conditions / Spinal Cord Injury / Features
Research Article   |   November 1985
Correlates of Life Satisfaction and Depression in Middle-Aged and Elderly Spinal Cord–Injured Persons
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November 1985, Vol. 39, 740-745. doi:10.5014/ajot.39.11.740
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November 1985, Vol. 39, 740-745. doi:10.5014/ajot.39.11.740
Abstract

Advances in health care science allow more people with spinal cord injuries to live to old age. The purpose of this study was to determine those factors that contribute to the well-being of middle-aged and elderly spinal cord–injured people. One hundred spinal cord–injured people, ranging in age from 40 to 73 years, completed an extensive structured interview. In general, respondents reported a degree of well-being on the same measures of satisfaction and depression that was slightly lower than that of similarly aged nondisabled people. Pearson correlations indicated that people experiencing high levels of well-being reported high levels of perceived control, had higher levels of social support, and judged their health status to be good. These people also viewed their disability more favorably, tended to have higher incomes and more education, were employed, and were more religious than those indicating lower levels of well-being. The severity of the spinal cord injury was not correlated highly with subjective well-being, although there was a tendency for those with greater disability to report lower levels of well-being. People who were younger, who incurred their disability at a younger age, and who blamed themselves and felt they could have avoided the injury also tended to report higher levels of well-being.