Life Satisfaction and Psychological Well-Being of Older Adults with Cancer Experience: The Role of Optimism and Volunteering

Jinmoo Heo, Sanghee Chun, Sunwoo Lee, Junhyoung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Promoting health and well-being among individuals of advancing age is a significant issue due to increased incidence of cancer among older adults. This study demonstrates the benefits of expecting positive outcomes and participating in volunteer activities among older adults with cancer. We used a nationally representative sample of 2,670 individuals who have experienced cancer from the 2008 wave of the Health and Retirement Study. We constructed a structural equation model to explore the associations of optimism, volunteerism, life satisfaction, and psychological well-being. The level of optimism was a significant predictor of volunteerism, which in turn affected life satisfaction and psychological well-being. The level of engagement in volunteer activities was found to have significant path coefficients toward both life satisfaction and psychological well-being. Our study provides evidence that older adults who have experienced cancer and maintained a positive outlook on their lives and engaged in personally meaningful activities tended to experience psychological well-being and life satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-289
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sep 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ageing
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this