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Nostalgia and wellbeing across the lifespan

Nostalgia and wellbeing across the lifespan
Nostalgia and wellbeing across the lifespan
In recent years, interest in nostalgia and its many potential benefits has blossomed, yet the nature of nostalgia in older adulthood has remained largely unexplored. This is surprising, given that nostalgia serves many functions which are highly relevant to older adults and which could determine whether they adjust poorly or well to older adulthood. In order to address this shortfall, this thesis reports on research exploring nostalgia and wellbeing across the lifespan. First, I compare the content of nostalgic and ordinary autobiographical memories using multiple coding methods. Results highlight the strong social orientation of nostalgia in older adults (Chapter 2). Second, I examine psychological wellbeing across the lifespan and demonstrate that stability or gains in wellbeing are contingent on nostalgia (Chapter 3). Furthermore, these age-related differences in psychological wellbeing are at least partly driven by a perception of limited time (Chapter 4). Finally, I explore whether there are individual differences in those who stand to benefit most from nostalgia. Results suggest that nostalgia may not meet the affiliative needs of high growth adults as they get older. This is demonstrated across a wide variety of measures, including psychological wellbeing (Chapter 5), subjective wellbeing and health (Chapter 6). Overall, this thesis emphasises the value of taking a lifespan perspective on nostalgia.
Robertson, Sara
031ad0c5-08dc-4635-90bb-9129e92b5a50
Robertson, Sara
031ad0c5-08dc-4635-90bb-9129e92b5a50

(2013) Nostalgia and wellbeing across the lifespan. University of Southampton, Psychology, Doctoral Thesis, 231pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

In recent years, interest in nostalgia and its many potential benefits has blossomed, yet the nature of nostalgia in older adulthood has remained largely unexplored. This is surprising, given that nostalgia serves many functions which are highly relevant to older adults and which could determine whether they adjust poorly or well to older adulthood. In order to address this shortfall, this thesis reports on research exploring nostalgia and wellbeing across the lifespan. First, I compare the content of nostalgic and ordinary autobiographical memories using multiple coding methods. Results highlight the strong social orientation of nostalgia in older adults (Chapter 2). Second, I examine psychological wellbeing across the lifespan and demonstrate that stability or gains in wellbeing are contingent on nostalgia (Chapter 3). Furthermore, these age-related differences in psychological wellbeing are at least partly driven by a perception of limited time (Chapter 4). Finally, I explore whether there are individual differences in those who stand to benefit most from nostalgia. Results suggest that nostalgia may not meet the affiliative needs of high growth adults as they get older. This is demonstrated across a wide variety of measures, including psychological wellbeing (Chapter 5), subjective wellbeing and health (Chapter 6). Overall, this thesis emphasises the value of taking a lifespan perspective on nostalgia.

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More information

Published date: December 2013
Organisations: University of Southampton, Psychology

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Local EPrints ID: 370449
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/370449
PURE UUID: 079dfc18-452a-4172-9cfc-7f80960cc795

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Date deposited: 27 Oct 2014 13:01
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 21:51

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