Keys to well-being in older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic: personality, coping and meaning

Martin Mau, Anne Maj Fabricius, Søren Harnow Klausen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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PURPOSE: During the COVID-19 pandemic, older adults were portrayed as an at-risk group. While this may have been true in some respects, empirical studies on mental health, including well-being were conflicting. Some studies found that older adults demonstrated a notable emotional resilience against the impacts of the pandemic. In this study, we qualitatively examine how older adults understand well-being and how they approached pandemic's potential influence on their well-being. METHODS: 17 older adults participated in the study, out of which 14 were interviewed and three provided written responses to a set of questions. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Through Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, three themes emerged:adaptation, control, and a sense of community. We use them to discuss three central questions within well-being theory and research: How far does well-being depend on personal traits and how far does it depend on the environment? How far do people adapt to changed circumstances, and how far is such adaption conducive to maintaining genuine well-being and not just a lowering of standards of comparison? How far does subjective well-being depend on individual and momentary experiences and how far does it depend on the larger temporal and social context of an individual?

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)2110669
Publication statusPublished - 1. Dec 2022


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