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Although research on the relationship between cognitive functioning and enriched environments indicates the importance of environments for normal aging and Alzheimer's Disease e. Our model challenges the cohort dependency of major theories of aging well and demands a more flexible and dynamic understanding of theory construction.

Surprisingly, the dominant models of aging well except for Lindenberger et al. More generally framed, there is a need to constantly monitor theories of aging well in terms of their capability to accurately and comprehensively reflect ongoing cultural change critical for aging. The explicit consideration of environment may help to promote such reflection as continuously important work in the field of gerontology. In closing, new challenges arise as we recommend the stronger consideration of environment. In particular, the issue of environment underscores the urgent need to learn and educate ourselves about new competencies, such as highly skilled residential decision making or sophisticated technology use that will be increasingly necessary for aging well in the future see also Zarit, We expect that in the future, this virtuosity will increasingly involve environment-related competencies, and we have no doubt that we will all continue to benefit from the legacy of M.

Powell Lawton. This paper is dedicated to M. Although this work is based on H. Wahl would like to thank Drs. We are also very thankful for language optimization provided by Miriam Rose. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Sign In or Create an Account. Sign In. Advanced Search. Article Navigation. Close mobile search navigation Article Navigation. Volume Article Contents. Heuristic Potential of Model: Emerging Propositions. Oxford Academic. Google Scholar. Susanne Iwarsson, PhD. Frank Oswald, PhD. Cite Citation. Permissions Icon Permissions. Abstract Purpose of the Study:. Ecology theory of aging , Physical—spatial—technical environment , Agency , Belonging , Person—environment resources. Open in new tab Download slide.

Conceptual framework: Interplay of belonging and agency, aging well, and the environment.

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Table 1. Motivations toward belonging and agency apply to the full range of interactions with environment, including home environments, out-of-home action spaces, and technology environments. Processes of belonging and agency both correlate substantially with key outcomes of aging well across countries. Equally important is a changed dynamic in terms of belonging-related processes as aging people experience major functional impairment. Such a holistic view of interaction with environment in the face of pronounced functional inability adds to the understanding of aging well in challenging life phases, such as age-related autonomy loss and care needs.

The current cultural trend toward an agency-oriented understanding of aging well may ignore strong belonging-related motivations in increasing numbers of very old adults. Open in new tab. Environmental enrichment improves cognition in aged Alzheimer's transgenic mice despite stable beta-amyloid deposition.


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Search ADS. Google Preview. Psychological perspectives on successful aging: The model of selective optimization with compensation. The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. The quest for residential normalcy by older adults: Relocation but one pathway. Home as a signification of independence and autonomy: Experiences among very old Swedish people.

Enrichment effects on adult cognitive development: Can the functional capacity of older adults be preserved and enhanced? Managing daily life with age-related sensory loss: Cognitive resources gain in importance. The revised version of the Housing Enabler: An instrument for assessing and analysing accessibility problems in housing. Applying the disruptive innovation framework to the silver market. Technology adoption and deployment for older consumers. Individuals as producers of their development. Conceptual and empirical bases.

Therapeutic robocat for nursing home residents with dementia: Preliminary inquiry. Extensive enriched environments protect old rats from the aging dependent impairment of spatial cognition, synaptic plasticity and nitric oxide production. Beyond the relocation trauma in old age. Homeward bound: Introducing a four domain model of perceived housing in very old age.

Housing-related control beliefs and independence in activities of daily living in very old age. Correlates of residential satisfaction in adulthood and old age. A meta-analysis. Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics. Aging in context: Socio-physical environments. Time-structured and net intraindividual variability: Tools for examining the development of dynamic characteristics and processes. Toward a psychological science of advanced technology design for older adults.

Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics, The home environments of older people: A description of the psychosocial processes linking person to place. Beyond Ponce de Leon and life satisfaction: New directions in quest of successful ageing. Social exclusion of older people in deprived urban communities of England. The general ecological model revisited: Evolution, current status, and continuing challenges. Aging in context: Sociophysical environments. Robot therapy. A new approach for mental healthcare of the elderly—a mini-review.

Is an entertainment robot useful in the care of elderly people with severe dementia? Technology studies to meet the needs of people with dementia and their caregivers: A literature review. Irreversibility of time and the construction of historical developmental psychology. The home environment and disability-related outcomes in aging individuals: What is the empirical evidence?

Future developments in living environments for older people in the United Stated and Germany. Everyday competence in visually impaired older adults: A case for person-environment perspectives. Environmental gerontology at the beginning of the new millennium: Reflections on its historical, empirical, and theoretical development.

Agency and communion as conceptual coordinates for the understanding and measurement of interpersonal behavior. World Health Organization. Social construction and moral development: Update and expansion of an idea. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals. Issue Section:. Download all figures. View Metrics.

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Email alerts New issue alert. Advance article alerts. Article activity alert. Receive exclusive offers and updates from Oxford Academic. Aging: Learning to Live a Finite Life. Related articles in Web of Science Google Scholar. Effectiveness of cognitive behavior therapy for patients with heart failure and depression: A systematic review protocol. Citing articles via Web of Science An Updated Comprehensive Meta-Analysis. Looking for your next opportunity? Pediatric Neurosurgeon. View all jobs. It is useful to consider environment-related processes of belonging and agency in combination in order to better understand aging well.

Processes of environment-related belonging gain in importance in the face of major age-associated functional impairment, whereas agency becomes less important. As in the Fredrickson et al. Participants were strongly encouraged to continue their LKM practice after the end of the program. Positive Emotion Regulation: As we explained in the introduction, the intervention was structured around the Process Model of Positive Emotion Regulation.

During the group sessions, each section of the model was set out and put into practice through validated techniques see Table 2 for examples. Research findings were presented to highlight the pertinence of the strategies and techniques proposed. The presentation of the strategies relative to the different sections of the models was divided across six sessions. At the end of the program, participants were asked to identify exercises that worked the best for them which is not necessary equal to their preferred ones, [69] , see discussion section for more details , and were strongly encouraged to continue them after the end of the intervention.

PER trainers five psychology students and one Ph. This scale comprises five items e. The internal consistency was. In the present study, we used the short version [73] , which consists of 13 items rated on a 4-point scale. Respondents were instructed to choose the response that best described how they felt over the last week.

The internal consistency of the scale was. This scale comprises 10 items e. The abbreviated scale consists of a list of the 29 most common physical symptoms e. No differences between subjects who dropped out and those who did not were found on the variables under study at T1, according to t-test analyses ps ranging from.


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  4. A one-way analysis of variance ANOVA was performed to check for potential group differences at T1 between completers of the three groups see Table 3 for the values. This analysis indicated that there were no significant baseline differences between groups on any of the following variables: subjective happiness, life satisfaction, depression, perceived stress, somatic complaints, and age ps ranging from.

    In order to assess the evolution of participants' scores within each group, we computed change scores by subtracting T1 scores from T2 scores for each participant on each variable. A graphic depiction of mean change scores expressed in percent by group can be found in Figure 1. Although these results are somewhat informative, the very low powers of the analyses are problematic.

    Statistical power can be interpreted as the probability of finding a significant difference, if it exists, with the present sample sizes and the observed effect sizes. The conclusion that can be drawn from those results is that, for our effects to be statistically significant, we would need a much larger sample size. Though the power of our study was far from this standard, this was a pilot study, and as such, we were unable to predict 1 the dropout rate in each group, and therefore the adequate number of participants to initially include in our study, and 2 the average effect size of our intervention, which would have been necessary to compute power analyses before the start of the study.

    The high dropout rate in the LKM group dramatically reduced the number of observations and, therefore, considerably reduced the power of analyses including all three groups. Under these conditions, it seems hardly possible to highlight results on the PER group, even though the visual analysis of the change scores see Fig 1 suggests that some interesting results do exist.

    Since the power problems were mainly related to the LKM group, and since our main group of interest was the PER group, we decided to leave the question of LKM efficacy aside, so as to focus on our main question of interest: the efficacy of the PER program. Analyzing those results independently of the LKM seemed to constitute the most relevant option from both a clinical and statistical point of view to quantify the effects of the PER intervention, if they exist. In the following pages, we will present the results of analyses comparing the PER and control groups only.

    The means and standard deviations for each variable at each time point in the PER program and in the control group are shown in Table 3. In each case, we were looking for a significant Time x Group interaction, which would indicate a differential change between the two groups. The objective of our study was twofold: 1 to construct a theory- and evidence-based integrative intervention aimed at increasing well-being and 2 to test its effectiveness on participants' mental and physical well-being. The theoretical framework allowed us to organize these different well-being enhancing techniques and to deliver them in a coherent format.

    In addition, this framework made it possible to integrate techniques using different underlying processes or strategies. In accordance with our hypothesis, our results indicate that, compared to an inactive control group, the PER group showed a significant increase in subjective happiness and satisfaction with life and a significant decrease in depression symptoms and somatic complaints.

    There was also a marginal decrease in perceived stress. These results confirm that it is possible to enhance an individual's psychological and physical well-being and that the PER program that we developed is a valid intervention to achieve this goal. Another interesting finding of our study concerns loving-kindness meditation. It is worth noting that the high dropout rate in the LKM condition is consistent with results reported by Carson et al.

    However, individuals who fully adhered to the intervention until the end of the program benefited from it, as evinced by better psychological adjustment to pain. Several hypotheses can be put forward in order to explain the high dropout in our study. First, participants who enrolled in our program had no precise idea of the type of techniques they were going to learn, unlike in Fredrickson et al. The majority of the qualitative feedback received from participants who quitted the LKM condition mentions an incongruity between the proposed technique and their personality e.

    Second, another explanation that may explain the high dropout rate in the LKM group concerns the trainers [79]. In order to reduce the risk of having such a trainer effect, we recruited two LKM trainers. Results indicate that the observed dropout was independent of the trainer identity. For this reason, we believe that this second hypothesis is less plausible. Overall, our results and previous literature suggest that LKM can be an effective technique to increase the well-being of individuals who adhere to the program. Our results also show that the PER program is an effective alternative that may be more readily accepted by the majority of individuals.

    Previous LKM results e. In addition to bringing a theoretical reflection about the processes underlying happiness enhancing techniques, this article aimed to provide practical information to practitioners desiring to use an integrative and theory-driven intervention to boost their clients' well-being. This is why we have described the PER program that we developed based on Quoidbach et al. Like one anonymous reviewer, one may wonder whether the underlying theoretical model must be described to the participants.

    Based on our experience and on participants' qualitative comments at the end of the sessions, we think that it should definitely be explained to them. First, several times during the training, we invite participants to choose the exercises they wish to practice from a selection that we offer for their weekly homework and long-term exercises after the end of the program. However, the techniques that individuals prefer are not always those that are best for them [69] , [80]. Explaining the model to the participants therefore seems important, so as to show them the variety of techniques available and to encourage them to try at least one technique from each type of strategy or model section in order to discover new methods to enhance their happiness level.

    Second, some of our participants reported that the classification of strategies made them aware that they always use the same family of strategies and rarely any of the others. For instance, one participant realized that he often interprets events positively cognitive level , but that he is systematically incapable of being fully present during the pleasant moments he experiences attentional level. Other participants reported similar realizations about techniques usable before, during or after an event. One young woman clearly identified that she is able to feel a lot of positive emotions about past events, but that she almost never plans future events in order to get the most out of them.

    Thus, the model increases participants' awareness of their functioning and provides them with new ways to increase their well-being. We therefore encourage trainers who would like to teach the PER program to present and explain the model to their groups. In individual therapy, Quoidbach et al. However, further research should be conducted to better understand which strategies are the most beneficial for specific profiles of individuals.

    Although this study offers promising prospects, we acknowledge several limitations that leave ample room for future research to refine our findings. The first limitation concerns the missing data in the LKM condition due to the large dropout rate that we had not expected.

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    The number of missing data in this group strongly decreased the statistical power to a point where we did not have sufficient power to demonstrate effects, even if they existed. Now that we have information about the potential dropout rate in the LKM condition, we could run this study again, but this time calculate the appropriate number of participants to include in the groups in order to have a satisfying remaining power at the end of the study, even if a large portion of participants were to fail to complete the intervention.

    The second limitation concerns the timing of the assessments. Our post-intervention measure was carried out only once, four weeks after the end of the intervention. Although most of the literature about happiness enhancing strategies includes T2 assessment right after the end of the last exercise, we chose to collect that information four weeks after the end of our intervention because it seemed methodologically more appropriate to measure the remaining impact of our intervention in individuals' real life.

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    Indeed, right after the intervention, people are still fully impregnated with it, while a few weeks later, they have returned to their life, without any reminder of the techniques proposed within the intervention. Although this timing difference diminishes our ability to compare our results to those obtained with other techniques presented in the literature, the fact that we found results four weeks after the end of our intervention shows that it continues to exert its effects after the end of the intervention. It would have been ideal, of course, to follow participants over a longer period of time to be able to do more sophisticated statistical analyses and to see if the benefits maintain in the long term, after six months or one year.

    Unfortunately, most of our participants were in their last year at university and left the department a few months after the end of the intervention, which led their student email address to be disabled. We lost contact with most of them right after this T2 measurement. A third potential limitation of our study concerns the composition of our sample. On the one hand, all the participants in our study were young adults, and as a consequence, our results may not be generalizable to the entire population. However, findings from the meta-analysis carried out by Sin and Lyubomirsky [23] indicate that the benefits of positive psychology interventions tend to increase with age.

    It is therefore risky to affirm that our results can be generalized regardless of participant gender. Nevertheless, existing literature in this field has shown no systematic influence of gender on the effectiveness of happiness enhancing techniques, a fact that increases our confidence in the predictive validity of our results for both sexes.

    Using only self-reported measures is a fourth limitation of our study. Although numerous authors insist that using self-evaluation is a sensible logical way to evaluate a subjective experience such as well-being [82] , we consider that it is necessary to complement these measures with objective health indicators such as cortisol level [83] , degree assessments e. This kind of measure should decrease the risk of social desirability effects linked to the use of self-report measures and increase the reliability and objectivity of the findings.

    As pointed by an anonymous reviewer, future research would benefit from comparing our PER group to existing integrative interventions such as Seligman et al. This would allow determining more precisely the efficiency of our training compared to other integrative intervention and the added value of the theoretical model that underlies it.

    Finally, despite the fact that we present an integrative intervention, we acknowledge that studies that focus on specific techniques are critically important. In addition to enabling the evaluation of the unique effect of a particular technique, these studies are crucial in determining the strategies that are particularly beneficial or harmful for specific sub-populations e.

    Embarking on the path towards higher levels of well-being is a demanding journey that requires motivation and considerable effort [82]. In order to help individuals seeking happiness along this path, this study outlines an intervention that offers clinicians and trainers a variety of techniques that target different processes and structures them around a theoretical framework. Performed the experiments: FW MM.

    Browse Subject Areas? Click through the PLOS taxonomy to find articles in your field. Abstract Over the past fifteen years, positive psychology research has validated a set of happiness enhancing techniques. Introduction Until recently, research has focused on factors that hinder well-being, with the objective of identifying means by which to ease suffering [1]. Download: PPT. Table 1. The Current Study The aim of the present study was twofold: 1 to create an integrative intervention i.

    First Objective: Creation of the Positive Emotion Regulation PER Program To achieve our first objective, we carried out an extensive literature review on the basis of the model proposed by Quoidbach et al. Table 2. Methods Ethics Statement. Participants and Procedure. Trainings format. Results Preliminary results. Table 3. Test of our hypothesis. Figure 1. Mean Change Scores expressed in percent between Time 1 and Time 2 for the three groups.

    Discussion The objective of our study was twofold: 1 to construct a theory- and evidence-based integrative intervention aimed at increasing well-being and 2 to test its effectiveness on participants' mental and physical well-being. Limitations and Future Research Although this study offers promising prospects, we acknowledge several limitations that leave ample room for future research to refine our findings. Conclusion Embarking on the path towards higher levels of well-being is a demanding journey that requires motivation and considerable effort [82]. References 1. An introduction. Am Psychol 5— View Article Google Scholar 2.

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