A Comparison of Old Men and Women’s Social Support, Life Satisfaction, Happiness and Depression

Document Type : Research Paper



Aging is an important stage in life and with advances in science and health care the number of the old is increasing in different societies. This increase and our religious and cultural believes emphasizing venerating the old point to the significance of this study. The present study investigated old men and women’s differences in terms of social support, life satisfaction, happiness, and depression. This causal-comparative research sampled 379 old persons (200 men and 179 women) from the old living in Shiraz using convenience sampling. The participants completed three questionnaires; Philips’ “social support”, Diner’s “life satisfaction”, and Joseph & Lewis’ “happiness and depression”. A use was made of correlational matrix, multivariate variance analysis, and Fisher’s z to examine hypotheses 1&2, 3&4, and to answer question 1 respectively. The Results of the study showed that there was a significant relationship among all the variables and that there was a significant difference between the old men and women with respect to social support, happiness and depression, and life satisfaction.


1- Alexopoulosa, G. S. (2000). Mood disorders, In B. J.Sadock & V. A. Sadock
(Eds). comperhensive textbook of psychiatry (7th ed). philadelphia: Williams &
2- Alikhani, V. (2002). Aging in viewpoints different. publications parent –
teacher association, Tehran.[Persian].
3- Argyle M, Lu L. (1990). the happiness of extraverts. Personality and
individual differences; 11: 1011-1017. 
4- Aslani, Sh., Bron, L., Bilitone, N. Hematiyan Chardah cheriki, S. (2003).
Evaluation and comparison mental health older adults men and woman in
Ahvaz. Master,
s thesis, Islamic Azad university Ahvaz. [Persian].
5- Bakhtiyari, S., Ghaderi kiya, M., Yousefi ghand ali, A. Kord zangane.
(2004). Comparison Depression in older adults men and women admitted in
sanitarium Ahvaz. Bachelor Arts thesis, Islamic Azad University Ahvaz.
6- Beckman, A. T, Deeg, D. J. Bream, A. W, Smit, J. H, van Tiblurg, W.
(1997). Consequences of major and minor depression in later life: A study of
disability, well- being and service utilization. Psychol Med. 27(6): 1397-1409.
7-Bi shop, A. J; Martin,P; (2006). Happiness and congruencein older adalhood.
A Structural model of life satisfaction. Aging and mental Helth, 10,445-453.
8- Blazer, D.J. (2000). Mood disorder: Epidemiology. In: Sadock BJ, Sadock
9- Carr, A. (2004). Positive Psychology. Hove and New York: BrunnerRoutledge.
10- Cohen, M.A.Fredrickson, B. L; Brown, S. L. Mikels, J. A; (2009). Positive
Emotions Increase Life Satisfaction by Building Resilience. American
Psychological Assocation, 3, 361-368.
11- Cohen, S. & Wills, T. A. (1985). Stress, Social support, and the Buffering
Hypothesis. Psychological Bulletin. 98, 310-357.
12- Cohen, S., Syme S. L. (1985). Social support and health. New York:
Academic press.
13- Cumming, E, & Henry, W. E.(1961). Growing old. New York: Basic books.
14- Cohen, S, Herbert TB. (1996). Health psychology: psychological factors
and physical disease from the perspective of human psychoneuro immunology.
Annu. Rev.psychology.47:113-142.
15- Cooper, P.J, Goodyer. J. (1993). A community study of depression in a
adolescent girls. I: Estimates of symptom and syndrome prevalence. Br J
Psychiatry., 163: 379-80.
16- Diener, E. (1984)."Subjective well-being". Psychological Bulletin, 95, 542-
17- Diener, E. (2000). Subjective well-being; The science of happiness and a
personal for e national index. American psychologist.55, 34-43.
18- Ebrahimi, S., (1996). The role of social support in retention social and
mental health education: monthly educational ministry of teaching and
education. Vol.12, No.1, fall. [Persian].
19- First. M. B., Spitzer. R. L., Gibbon. M. (1998). Williams & JBW:
Structured (Clinical interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders. Patients psychiatric
Institiue, Biometric Research. 
20- Ganster, D. C., & Victor, B. (1988). the impact of social support on mental
and physical health. British Journal of Medical psychology, 61, 17-36.
21- Holahan, C. K., & Holahan, C. L., (1987) self- efficacy, social support, and
depression in aging: a longitudinal analysis. Journal of Gerontology, 42, 65-68.
22- Khayer. M,. Samani. S. (2004). Comparison social – mental health, life
satisfaction – mental health and cooperation in between, employed and
homemaker mothers in shiraz; Report project research, association research
satistic and information technology fars state. [Persian].
23- Krause, N. Liang, J. Yatomi, N. (1989). Satisfaction with social support and
Depressive symptoms: A panel Analaysis. Psychology and aging. 4. 88-97.
24- Kubzansky, L. D.; Berkman, L. F. & Seeman, T. E. (2000). Social
Conditions and Distress in Elderly Persons: Finding from the MacArthur studies
of Successful Aging. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 55B (4):
25- Lu, L.(1997). Social support, reciprocity, and well- being. The Journal of
Social Psychology, 137,618-628.
26- Magaziner, J., Dvorking, L. Kakana, E., & Mazian, F. (1988). Social
Integration and moral: A reexamination. journal of Gerontology, 35, 746-757.
27- Maltaby. J, Day. L, Mccutcheon. L. E, Gillett. R, Houran. J, Ashe, D. D.
(2004). personality and coping: A context for examining celebrity worship and
mental health. British Journal of psychology, 95, 411- 428.
28- Meyer.A. R. F, Brunholm. B, Meyer. K. S. F. (1991). Happiness and
domain-specific life satisfaction in adult northern Swedes. Clin Rehabil
February, 5no. 1, 25-33.
29- Meyers. D. G, diener. E. E. (2004). Who is happy? Psychological science,
6(1), 10-19.
30- Mishara. B.L, Raydel. R.J. (1986). Aging psychology. (Translator: Ganji. H,
Davoudiyan. A, Habibi. F). Tehran, publications information edition 2. page
171-180. [Persian].
31- Motamedi shalamzari. A., Ezhei. J., Azad Falah. P., Kiyamanesh. A.
(2002).The Impact social support in life satisfaction, general health and
isolation feeling in older adults above 60 age. Journal of psychology. Vol: 6.
No: 2. 2008(summer). [ Persian].
32- Nasiri. H & Jokar ,B. (2008). Meaning in life, hope, life satisfaction and
mental health in woman. Journal of research woman.Vol: 1. No:2. Summer
(1387). [Persian].
33- Pankala. K., Ketsi. E., Kongas-Saviaro. P., Laippala. P., Kivela. S. L.
(1995). Prevalence of depression in an aged population in Finland. Soc
Psychiatr Epidemiol., 3(3): 99-106. 
34- Pasha, Gh, R., Safarzadeh, S., Mashak, R., (2009). Comparison General
health and social support in elderly admitted in sanitarium with elderly sited in
family; The Quarterly Journal of research family.No:9.503-517. [Persian].
35- Rajabizadeh, Gh,.Ramezani.A. (2003). Outbreak Depression in older adults
in kerman 1381. Journal of scientific medical science Rafsanjan.Vol: 5, No,1.
36- Roukoei. L, Kimiagar. M, Ghafarpour. M. (2006).Old age nutrition in
Tehran on 1997. Tehran: Ashena Press: [Persian].
37- Sarason, I. (1988). social, personality and health. In M. P. Janis (Ed),
Individual Differences, stress and Health psychology, 25, p: 109-127.
38- Seeman, T. E., & Adler,N. (1998). Older Americans: Who will they be?
National Forum.78(2).
39- Singh, K., Duggal. J, Sh. (2008). Positive and Negative Affect, and Grit as
predictors of Happiness and life satisfaction. Journal of the Indian Academy of
Applied psychology. Vol. 34. 40-45.
40- Tannock. C., Katone. C. (1995). Minor depression in the aged. Concepts,
prevalence and optimal management. Drugs Aging,.6(5): 278-292.
41- Vander Zanden. J. (2004). Development psychology (Translator: Ganji. H.
Tehran, publication development). [Persian].
42- Wai-yung kwong. E, yui - Huen Kwan. A. (2004). Stress management
methods of the community- Dwelling Elderly in hong kong: implications for
tailoring a stress reduction program. Journal Geriatiric Nurs. 25(2). 102-106.