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Autobiographical memory and well-being in aging: the central role of semantic self-images

Rathbone, C. J., Holmes, E. A., Murphy, S. E. and Ellis, J. A. (2015) Autobiographical memory and well-being in aging: the central role of semantic self-images. Consciousness and Cognition, 33. pp. 422-431. ISSN 1053-8100

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2015.02.017

Abstract/Summary

Higher levels of well-being are associated with longer life expectancies and better physical health. Previous studies suggest that processes involving the self and autobiographical memory are related to well-being, yet these relationships are poorly understood. The present study tested 32 older and 32 younger adults using scales measuring well-being and the affective valence of two types of autobiographical memory: episodic autobiographical memories and semantic self-images. Results showed that valence of semantic self-images, but not episodic autobiographical memories, was highly correlated with well-being,particularly in older adults. In contrast, well-being in older adults was unrelated to performance across a range of standardised memory tasks. These results highlight the role of semantic self-images in well-being, and have implications for the development of therapeutic interventions for well-being in aging.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Ageing
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
ID Code:39926
Uncontrolled Keywords:Self Identity Semantic Episodic Older adults
Publisher:Elsevier

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