Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Lisa Kiesel


Social Work


Successful aging has been explored and defined in research as a particularly desirous state of being as one approaches older age. Operational definitions of successful aging often include measures of physical health, internal and external resources, proactivity levels, and wellbeing. Additional research on later life has included the study of family and support factors on the aging experience. In light of these topics, the current research sought to explore successful aging within a family context by comparing family demographics to older Americans’ satisfaction with life and aging. This inquiry was conducted using a secondary data analysis design on the public government data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) in the year 2014 (N = 18,747). The HRS data is part of a longitudinal household survey of Americans over the age of 50 that began in 1992 in an effort to gain knowledge about health and retirement among older Americans. The overarching research question for this project was: Based on the Health and Retirement Study data in 2014, what are the effects of family factors on older Americans’ satisfaction with life and aging? Inferential statistics (Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, ANOVA, and multiple regression) found significant but moderate to weak relationships between individual family factors and satisfaction with life and aging scores. While the current study provided insight into the connections between family factors and older Americans’ life and aging satisfaction, there are still many factors not studied here that could more strongly relate and/or predict successful aging in older Americans.

Included in

Social Work Commons