Abstract

Personality researchers have described dispositional traits to typically show stability over the life course and yet one such trait, shyness, has rarely been examined in later life. Shyness as a global trait has been linked negatively to multiple psychological indices of childhood well-being, including loneliness. Despite the fact that older adults may be already at risk for experiencing heightened loneliness, regret, or decreased fulfillment, research has not assessed these experiences in relation to personality in later life. In recent years, withdrawal research has begun to move past shyness as a global trait to examine the motivations behind socially withdrawn behavior. The current study used regression analyses to examine ways that three facets of withdrawal (shyness, avoidance, and unsociability) may relate to loneliness, regret, and fulfillment in later life. Data from 309 older participants of the Huntsman Senior Games were used to explore associations. Results indicated that shyness, avoidance, and unsociability significantly predicted increased loneliness and regret, and decreased fulfillment to some extent. Further, marital status (married, divorced, widowed) moderated links between withdrawal and psychological indices of later life well-being.

Degree

MS

College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Marriage, Family, and Human Development

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2017-04-01

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd9136

Keywords

social withdrawal, loneliness, later life, regret, fulfillment

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