The study of social withdrawal continues to grow among younger samples, including childhood, adolescence, and emerging adulthood. Little research has addressed socially withdrawn older adults, despite the various losses, declines, and changes experienced by those in later life and their known benefits resulting from social interactions. Shy, avoidant, or unsocial individuals at younger ages may withdraw and possibly miss out on important opportunities; as a result, when they are grown, these same socially withdrawn individuals may experience greater regret and lower fulfillment in later life. Further, socially withdrawn older adults residing in long-term care (LTC) facilities may have more time to reminisce of past regret or fulfillment. Data was collected from 45 older participants (Mage = 83.07) residing in a long-term care facility on O'ahu. The current study used Bayesian linear regression models to examine ways that three subtypes of withdrawal (shyness, avoidance, and unsociability) may relate to regret and fulfillment in later life; with an exploratory qualitative portion assessing withdrawn participant's biggest regrets and accomplishments. Results indicated that higher levels of shyness significantly predicted higher levels of regret, while higher levels of unsociability were related to higher levels of fulfillment. The findings may help us to understand the role of ability to choose in the lives of socially withdrawn individuals, as shy individuals who may withdraw because of fear could be missing out on desired life experiences, while unsocial individuals appear able to participate in their desired activities.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Serrao, Melanie Mei Yukie, "Social Withdrawal Associated with Regret and Fulfillment in Three Long-Term Care Facilities" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 8615.
shyness, unsociable, regret, fulfillment, later life