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Work, Retirement and Leisure PS277 – Lecture 14. Outline Older Workers – Satisfaction and Adaptation Retirement – History and Timing Retirement as a Life.

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Presentation on theme: "Work, Retirement and Leisure PS277 – Lecture 14. Outline Older Workers – Satisfaction and Adaptation Retirement – History and Timing Retirement as a Life."— Presentation transcript:

1 Work, Retirement and Leisure PS277 – Lecture 14

2 Outline Older Workers – Satisfaction and Adaptation Retirement – History and Timing Retirement as a Life Transition – Theory and Satisfaction Research Leisure and Volunteer Activities in Retirement – Computer Usage, Volunteering

3 I. What Do We Know about Age and Worker Satisfaction? Data from Warr (1992), 1700 people in UK Job characteristics like decision scope, working conditions, income matter, but age still a factor…what else may explain? Work life review may become more positive, overall life satisfaction goes up, etc.

4 SOC Model and Adaptations to Job Roles in Workers (Abraham & Hansson, 1995) Selection, Optimization and Compensation Participants in this study were workers aged 40 – 69, both men and women. Completed questionnaires on successful aging in the workplace Measured SOC as well as goal attainment and maintenance of performance and abilities

5 SOC Example Items on the Job Scales Selection: I now try to focus my work efforts on a narrower range of tasks. I now try not to waste time on less important job responsibilities. Optimization: I now am more likely to participate in training to polish rusty skills and abilities. I now pay more attention to keeping up my work skills and abilities. Compensation: I now try to let others know about my special skills and knowledge. I now try to make my accomplishments more visible to my boss.

6 Age Differences in Correlations between SOC and Goal Attainment Scale< Age 50> Age 50 Selection.06.23** Optimization.19.45** Compensation.02.23**

7 II. What Factors Influence the Timing of Retirement? Age and expected norms Health – 1 to 3 yrs earlier for those in poor health Having minor children Financial resources to support retirement Level of interest in work Spouse patterns Gender differences

8 Timing: Work Participation by Age and Gender, 1950 to Present – US Older mens participation declined over past 60 years, particularly after age 64 Womens participation increased substantially from 55 to age 64 (consistent with data for younger workers) These patterns might change with current economy!

9 Choosing Not to Retire? About 15% of Canadians over 65 continue to work (2000) Includes two groups: those who have never retired from their long-term occupations and those who retired and went into something new (often part-time) Some people with very low benefits and skills continue working out of necessity – might grow these days! More of these are highly educated professionals who resist retirement – e.g., doctors, lawyers, university professors, etc.

10 Financial Support and Retirement Policy - History Old age pension legislation was introduced in Canada in 1927 65 was chosen as age of retirement in North America because of German chancellors earlier policies – somewhat arbitrary Most people lived a much shorter life span in those days, and many fewer people reached 65 and retirement at all Social Security and first US recipient: 1940 was date of first cheque issued in US. First US recipient was Ida Fuller of Vermont, who paid in $22 into the system, lived for 35 more years and drew out $21,000!

11 What about Mandatory Retirement and Policies? Should older university faculty be forced to retire? Is this discriminatory? Supreme Court originally held that it is under Charter of Rights, but that this is justified under some conditions, allowed provinces to decide what to do about this individually Ontario has moved to do away with mandatory retirement quite recently (most other provinces too) What do you think about this at universities? What might be some arguments for and against?

12 III. Historical Theories of Retirement Satisfaction Crisis Theory: Loss of work leads to lower self-esteem, identity crisis, withdrawal, illness, etc. Continuity Theory: Not too big a deal, most people have opportunities for satisfaction outside of work, and show only modest change with retirement Evidence in somewhere in the middle, but more positive than negative overall – for men, investment in family roles is a positive predictor of adjustment, for women, not so Clearest predictor of negative outcomes is with lack of control over retirement, due to job loss, poor health, etc.

13 Retirement Satisfaction – Some Key Factors from Harvard Growth Study (Vaillant, 2002) Maintaining and replacing social networks Rediscovering playful activities – grandchildren! Creativity – much evidence that old can be creative (Monet at 80, Franklin invented bifocals at 78, Darwin at 70) – everyday activities –gardening, building, etc. Lifelong learning – taking a fresh look at things, computers, technology

14 Life Transitions and Patterns of Adjustment – What Are Some Keys? Generally, normative changes that most go through – e.g., transition to work, university, to parenthood Age patterns in timing for normative changes are expected, so some people are off-time, this can affect how the experience feels, e.g., early or late retirement Change is stressful, so some issues to be expected – equilibrium is disrupted, then restabilizes Balances of social support and personal control needed to negotiate most successfully Preparation for the transition, anticipating issues and planning, is also important - e.g., retirement seminars

15 IV. Do Older Adults Disengage?: Voluntary Association Memberships in Later Adulthood (2000)

16 Historical Patterns of Decline in Voluntary Association – Bowling Alone, Putnam (2000) Rates of civic involvement in North America have declined over the past 50 years Some of this is generational – WWII generation has remained higher than others - Baby Boomers, etc., and higher than previous generations Trends for the future?

17 Average % Annual Volunteering Rate by Age – Canada (2004)

18 Average Annual Hours Per Volunteer by Age Group – Canada (2004)

19 Retirement Activities, Health and Life Satisfaction Volunteering, especially helping others, associated with positive health effects – lower mortality rates for older adults linked to helping rates in some studies (Oman et al., 1999) Life satisfaction is linked to greater feelings of social support, but an important component of this is the chance to give support to others Mrs. Perkett at 88

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