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


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

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The first two waves of the CALAS were funded by grants from the U.S. National Institute on Aging (R01-5885-03 and R01-5885-06) and conducted by the Department of Clinical Epidemiology at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center. The third wave of data collection and continued work were conducted by the Herczeg Institute on Aging at Tel Aviv University, supported by the Israel Academy of Science (grant 1041-541), the Israel National Institute for Health Policy (grant R/17/2001), and a donation from the Ellern Foundation. The last collection of mortality data was funded by the Herczeg Institute on Aging at Tel Aviv University and by the Gertner Institute for Epidemiology & Health Policy Research, Chaim Sheba Medical Center


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


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