Delineating terminal change in subjective well-being and subjective health

Yuval Palgi, Amit Shrira, Menachem Ben-Ezra, Tal Spalter, Dov Shmotkin, Gitit Kavé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The present study investigated whether several evaluative indicators of subjective well-being (SWB) and subjective health decline as death approaches and which of them shows a stronger decline. Using three-wave longitudinal data from deceased participants of the Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Aging Study (N = 1,360; age range 75-94 at T1= Time 1), we found a stronger decline in most evaluative indicators when plotted by distance-to-death relative to distance from birth. After controlling for background characteristics and physical and cognitive functioning, death-related decline was still found for SWB but not for subjective health. Implications are discussed regarding the well-being paradox and the yet unclear mechanisms that link evaluative indicators to the dying process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-64
Number of pages4
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume65 B
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Self-rated health
  • Subjective well-being
  • Terminal change


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