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years, withdrawal research has begun to move past shyness as a global trait to examine the motivations behind socially withdrawn behavior.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.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Marriage, Family, and Human Development
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Serrao, Melanie Mei, "Social Withdrawal and Psychological Well-Being in Later Life: Does Marital Status Matter?" (2017). Theses and Dissertations. 6337.
social withdrawal, loneliness, later life, regret, fulfillment