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Do Cherished Children Age Successfully? Longitudinal Findings From the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study Public Deposited

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  • Although early adversity has been linked to worse mental and physical health in adulthood, few studies have investigated the pathways through which positive and negative dimensions of early experiences can jointly influence psychological well-being in later life. This study examined: (a) profiles of early experiences across multiple domains, (b) the relations of these profiles to hedonic and eudaimonic well-being in later life, and (c) whether midlife social support mediated these relations. We first conducted latent class analysis of early experiences using data from 1,076 men in the VA Normative Aging Study who completed the Childhood Experiences Scale (age: M = 69, SD = 7). Analyses yielded 3 profiles of early experiences, labeled as cherished (strong support and some losses), harshly disciplined (harsh parental discipline, low positive reinforcement, and nonnormative stressors), and ordinary (few stressors and low parental attention). Next, we applied structural equation modeling to data on a subset of this sample assessed 7 years later on hedonic and eudaimonic well-being (n = 496; age: M = 76, SD = 7). In general, the cherished group reported stronger qualitative social support in midlife than the harshly disciplined and ordinary groups, which in turn was related to greater hedonic (life satisfaction, positive affect) and eudaimonic (competence, positive relations with others) well-being in later life. The cherished group also reported higher autonomy than the ordinary group, but this association was independent of midlife social support. Our findings suggest that experiencing adversity in the context of a nurturing early environment can promote successful aging through the maintenance of supportive relationships in midlife.
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  • Lee, L. O., Aldwin, C. M., Kubzansky, L. D., Chen, E., Mroczek, D. K., Wang, J. M., & Spiro III, A. (2015). Do cherished children age successfully? Longitudinal findings from the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study. Psychology and Aging, 30(4), 894-910. doi:10.1037/pag0000050
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  • 30
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  • 4
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  • This study was supported by National Institutes of Health grants R01-AG032037, R01-AG018436, a Senior Research Career Scientist Award from the Clinical Science Research and Development Service, U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs to Avron Spiro, and a BU/VA Boston CTSI Pilot Grant to Lewina O. Lee. The VA Normative Aging Study is a research component of MAVERIC and is supported by the VA Cooperative Studies Program/Epidemiological Research Centers
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  • description.provenance : Submitted by Patricia Black (patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2016-06-15T16:56:42Z No. of bitstreams: 2 LeeDoCherishedChildren.pdf: 840335 bytes, checksum: ca474a1116f2df453dcb2eb4bd42d8fd (MD5) LeeDoCherishedChildrenSupplement.pdf: 132425 bytes, checksum: af048542b54222b6783daaa37b51d9b2 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2016-06-15T16:57:20Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 2 LeeDoCherishedChildren.pdf: 840335 bytes, checksum: ca474a1116f2df453dcb2eb4bd42d8fd (MD5) LeeDoCherishedChildrenSupplement.pdf: 132425 bytes, checksum: af048542b54222b6783daaa37b51d9b2 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2016-06-15T16:57:20Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 2 LeeDoCherishedChildren.pdf: 840335 bytes, checksum: ca474a1116f2df453dcb2eb4bd42d8fd (MD5) LeeDoCherishedChildrenSupplement.pdf: 132425 bytes, checksum: af048542b54222b6783daaa37b51d9b2 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2015-12

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