Averie Zdon, Psy.D., is a 2021 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Kathi Borden, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Barbara Belcher-Timme, PsyD, Committee Member
  • Dean Hammer, PsyD, Committee Member


subjective well-being, older adults, aging

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Older adults are rapidly aging. It is estimated that by 2030, 1 in every 5 adults will be 65 years old or older (Administration on Aging, 2018). With this increase will undoubtedly come an increase in older people seeking mental health services. It is paramount the field of psychology attempt to prepare for this increase by better understanding older persons. Subjective well-being (SWB) is a popular construct with a vast body of literature as it pertains to a variety of diverse people. However, there has been little research on SWB as it pertains to older adults. This study examined the experiences of SWB as discussed by six older adults. There were three research questions: (a) How do older adults experience and perceive SWB as they age?, (b) How are young-old and oldest-old adults’ experiences similar and different?, and (c) What themes and content will arise from each participant’s narrative? Data was analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis to make sense of each participant’s narrative as they discussed aging and their sense of SWB. Results of the study revealed seven superordinate themes: (1) Physical Health: “Welcome to the Golden Years,” (2) Retirement, (3) Living a Meaningful Life, (4) Psychological Aspects of Aging, (5) Social Connection, (6) Coping with Change, and (7) Experiences of Loss. Several subthemes were identified. Participants described how each of the above factors intersect with their individual experience of SWB. Aspects of aging were determined to have both positively and negatively impacted SWB in varying ways. Additionally, limitations and implications of this study, as well as future research directions are discussed.


Averie Zdon

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-2447-6199