Older adults who experience more positive social interactions report feeling a higher sense of purposefulness, especially after retirement.
Having positive social interactions is associated with older adults’ sense of purposefulness, which can fluctuate from day to day, according to research from the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.
And although these findings, published in the July 2022 issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, apply to both working and retired adults, the research found that for better and for worse these interactions are more strongly correlated to purposefulness in people who are retired.
“Specifically for our retired older adults, this is a construct we should really care about,” said Gabrielle Pfund, who led the study as a Ph.D. student in the lab of Patrick Hill, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences. Pfund graduated in June and is now at Northwestern University.
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