The effects of resilience and basic personality traits on subjective well-being in elderly




resilience, personality traits, subjective well-being, distress, life satisfaction, eldery


The aim of this research was to examine the prediction of aspects of subjective well-being based on resilience and seven basic personality traits in users of gerontological centers, and the incremental contribution of basic personality traits in explaining adaptation to old age, beyond the variance explained by resilience. The sample consisted of 151 participants (54.3% female) with an average age of 80 years. Satisfaction with life, as cognitive indicator, and emotional distress (anxiety, depression, and stress) were used as indicators of subjective well-being. The results showed that resilience, neuroticism (in the negative direction) and positive valence predicted life satisfaction in the elderly. In predicting emotional distress, neuroticism stood out as a key predictor, while the significant contribution of resilience is dimnished by introducing personality traits into the model. The results provide a more complete picture of the relationships between resilience, personality traiits, and subjective well-being in a sample of the elderly in Serbia, and confirm the importance of studying these relationships from a developmental perspective.


Metrics Loading ...


Andrews, D., Zeigler-Hill, V., Mercer, S., & Besser, A. (2022). Narcissistic personality features across the life span. Personality and Individual Differences, 199, 111834. DOI:

Anglim, J., Horwood, S., Smillie, L.D., Marrero, R.J., & Wood, J.K. (2020). Predicting psychological and subjective well-being from personality: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 146(4), 279–323. DOI:

Arthaud-Day, M. L., Rode, J. C., Mooney, C. H., & Near, J. P. (2005). The subjective well-being construct: A test of its convergent, discriminant, and factorial validity. Social Indicators Research, 74(3), 445–476. DOI:

Baek, Y., Martin, P., Siegler, I.C., Davey, A., & Poon, L.W. (2016). Personality Traits and Successful Aging: Findings From the Georgia Centenarian Study. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 83(3), 207–227. DOI:

Bai, X., Chan, K.S., & Chow, N. (2012). Validation of Self-Image of Aging Scale for Chinese elders. International Journal of Aging & Human Development, 74(1), 67–86. DOI:

Bai, X., Guo, Y., & Fu, Y. (2018). Self-image and intergenerational relationships as correlates of life satisfaction in Chinese older adults: Will gender make a difference? Ageing & Society, 38(7), 1502–1519. DOI:

Baltes, P.B., & Baltes, M.M. (1990). Psychological perspectives on successful aging: The model of selective optimization with compensation. In P.B. Baltes & M.M. Baltes (Eds.), Successful aging: Perspectives from the behavioral sciences (pp. 1–34). Cambridge University Press. DOI:

Baltes, P.B., Mayer, K.U. (1999). The Berlin aging study: Aging from 70 to 100. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press DOI:

Bauer. J., & Park, S.W. (2010). Growth is not just for the young: Growth narratives, eudaimonic resilience, and the aging self. In P.S. Fry & C.L.M. Keyes (Eds.), New frontiers in resilient aging: Life strengths and well- being in late life (pp. 60–89). Cambridge University Press. DOI:

Bedaso, T.S., & Han, B. (2021). Work after retirement affects elderly mental health and behaviors in Addis Ababa. Health Psychology Open, 8(1), 2055102921996189. DOI:

Blanchflower, D. G., & Oswald, A. J. (2008). Is well-being U-shaped over the life cycle?. Social science & medicine (1982), 66(8), 1733–1749. DOI:

Bonanno, G.A. (2004). Loss, Trauma, and Human Resilience: Have We Underestimated the Human Capacity to Thrive After Extremely Aversive Events? American Psychologist, 59(1), 20–28. DOI:

Brownie, S., Horstmanshof, L., & Garbutt, R. (2014). Factors that impact residents' transition and psychological adjustment to long-term aged care: A systematic literature review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 51(12), 1654–1666. DOI:

Calasanti T. (2016). Combating Ageism: How Successful Is Successful Aging? The Gerontologist, 56(6), 1093–1101. DOI:

Campbell, A., Converse, P. E., Rodgers, W. L. (1976). The Quality of American Life: Perceptions, Evaluations, and Satisfactions. New York: Russell Sage Foundation

Campbell-Sills, L., & Stein, M. B. (2007). Psychometric analysis and refinement of the Connor-davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC): Validation of a 10-item measure of resilience. Journal of traumatic stress, 20(6), 1019–1028. DOI:

Carstensen, L. L. (1995). Evidence for a life-span theory of socioemotional selectivity. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 4(5), 151–156. DOI:

Carver, L.F., & Buchanan, D. (2016). Successful aging: considering non-biomedical constructs. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 11, 1623–1630. DOI:

Chen, C. (2001). Aging and life satisfaction. Social Indicators Research, 54(1), 57–79. DOI:

Cheng S. T. (2004). Age and subjective well-being revisited: a discrepancy perspective. Psychology and aging, 19(3), 409–415. DOI:

Connor, K. M., & Davidson, J. R. (2003). Development of a new resilience scale: the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC). Depression and anxiety, 18(2), 76–82. DOI:

Cosco, T. D., Kaushal, A., Richards, M., Kuh, D., & Stafford, M. (2016). Resilience measurement in later life: a systematic review and psychometric analysis. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 14, 16. DOI:

Diener, E. (2000). Subjective well-being: The science of happiness and a proposal for a national index. American Psychologist, 55(1), 34–43. DOI:

Diener, E., & Lucas, R. E. (1999). Personality and Subjective Well-Being. In D. Kahneman, E. Diener, & N. Schwarz (Eds.), Well-Being: The Foundations of Hedonic Psychology (pp. 213-229). New York: Russell Sage Foundation

Diener, E., & Suh, M. E. (1998). Subjective well-being and age: An international analysis. In K. W. Schaie & M. P. Lawton (Eds.), Annual review of gerontology and geriatrics, Vol. 17. Focus on emotion and adult development (pp. 304–324). Springer Publishing Company.

Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The Satisfaction With Life Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49(1), 71–75. DOI:

Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R. E., & Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective well-being: Three decades of progress. Psychological Bulletin, 125(2), 276–302. DOI:

Farina, M., Lopes, R.M.F., & Argimon, I.I.D.L. (2016). Perfil de idosos através do modelo dos cinco fatores de personalidade (Big Five): Revisão sistemática [Profile of elderly people through the five personality factors model (Big Five): A systematic review]. Diversitas, 12(1), 97–108. DOI:

Fletcher D., & Sarkar, M. (2013). Psychological resilience: A review and critique of definitions, concepts, and theory. European Psychologist, 18, 12–23. DOI:

Freund, A. M., & Baltes, P. B. (1998). Selection, optimization, and compensation as strategies of life management: Correlations with subjective indicators of successful aging. Psychology and Aging, 13(4), 531–543. DOI:

Fullen, M.C., Richardson, V.E., & Granello, D.H. (2018) Comparing successful aging, resilience, and holistic wellness as predictors of the good life. Educational Gerontology, 44(7), 459–468. DOI:

Glisky, E.L. (2007). Changes in cognitive function in human aging. In D.R. Riddle (Ed.), Brain aging: Models, methods, and mechanisms (pp. 3–20). CRC Press/Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group. DOI:

Goins, R. T., Gregg, J. J., & Fiske, A. (2013). Psychometric Properties of the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale With Older American Indians: The Native Elder Care Study. Research on Aging, 35(2), 123–143. DOI:

Golušin, S., Oljača, M. i Babić, M. (2015). VP+2 – senior: Verzija upitnika Velikih pet plus dva za primenu u populaciji starih osoba. Rad prezentovan na naučno–stručnom skupu Savremeni trendovi u psihologiji. Novi Sad, Srbija.

Gross, J. J., Carstensen, L. L., Pasupathi, M., Tsai, J., Skorpen, C. G., & Hsu, A. Y. (1997). Emotion and aging: experience, expression, and control. Psychology and aging, 12(4), 590–599. DOI:

Hamarat, E., Thompson, D., Aysan, F., Steele, D., Matheny, K., & Simons, C. (2002). Age differences in coping resources and satisfaction with life among middle-aged, young-old, and oldest-old adults. The Journal of genetic psychology, 163(3), 360–367. DOI:

Hansen, T., & Slagsvold, B. (2012). The age and subjective well-being paradox revisited:A multidimensional perspective. Norsk Epidemiologi, 22(2). DOI:

Hansson, I., Henning, G., Buratti, S., Lindwall, M., Kivi, M., Johansson, B., & Berg, A.I. (2020). The role of personality in retirement adjustment: Longitudinal evidence for the effects on life satisfaction. Journal of Personality, 88(4), 642–658. DOI:

Havighurst, R. J. (1968). A social-psychological perspective on aging. The Gerontologist, 8(2), 67–71. DOI:

Havighurst, R. J. (1968). Personality and Patterns of Aging. The Gerontologist, 8(1/Part 2), 20–23. DOI:

Hayes, N. & Joseph, S. (2003). Big 5 correlates of three measures of subjective well-being. Personality and Individual Differences, 34, 723–727. DOI:

Hersch, G., Spencer, J., & Kapoor, T. (2003). Adaptation by Elders to New Living Arrangements Following Hospitalization: A Qualitative, Retrospective Analysis. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 22(3), 315–339. DOI:

Hu, T., Zhang, D., & Wang, J. (2015). A meta-analysis of the trait resilience and mental health. Personality and Individual Differences 76, 18–27. DOI:

Jackson, S., & Schneider, T.R. (2014). Extraversion and stress. In A.D. Haddock & A.P. Rutkowski (Eds.), The psychology of extraversion (pp. 121–131). Nova Publishers.

Jeste, D.V., Savla, G.N., Thompson, W.K., Vahia, I.V., Glorioso, D.K., Martin, A.S., Palmer, B.W., Rock, D., Golshan, S., Kraemer, H.C., & Depp, C.A. (2013). Association between older age and more successful aging: critical role of resilience and depression. American Journal of Psychiatry, 170(2), 188–196. DOI:

Kahlbaugh, P., & Huffman, L. (2017). Personality, emotional qualities of leisure, and subjective well-being in the elderly. International Journal of Aging & Human Development, 85(2), 164–184. DOI:

Kim, S.H., & Park, S. (2017). A Meta-Analysis of the Correlates of Successful Aging in Older Adults. Research on Aging, 39(5), 657–677. DOI:

Klimstra, T.A., & Denissen, J.J.A. (2017). A theoretical framework for the associations between identity and psychopathology. Developmental Psychology, 53(11), 2052–2065. DOI:

Koorevaar, A.M., Comijs, H.C., Dhondt, A.D., van Marwijk, H.W., van der Mast, R.C., Naarding, P., Oude Voshaar, R.C., & Stek, M.L. (2013). Big Five personality and depression diagnosis, severity and age of onset in older adults. Journal of Affective Disorders, 151(1), 178–185. DOI:

Kunuroglu, F., & Vural Yuzbasi, D. (2021). Factors Promoting Successful Aging in Turkish Older Adults: Self Compassion, Psychological Resilience, and Attitudes towards Aging. Journal of Happiness Studies, 22, 3663–3678. DOI:

Lahey B.B. (2009). Public health significance of neuroticism. American Psychologist, 64(4), 241–256. DOI:

Langer, N. (2004). Resiliency and spirituality: Foundations of strengths perspective counseling with the elderly. Educational Gerontology, 30, 611–617. DOI:

Lee, D.T.F., Woo, J., & Mackenzie, A.E. (2002). The cultural context of adjusting to nursing home life: Chinese elders' perspectives. The Gerontologist, 42(5), 667–675. DOI:

Lee, O., & Chan, K. (2009). Resilience and aging. Aging Health, 3(3), 309–323. DOI:

Lucas, R.E., & Diener, E. (2015). Personality and subjective well-being: Current issues and controversies. In M. Mikulincer, P.R. Shaver, M.L. Cooper, & R.J. Larsen (Eds.), APA Handbook of personality and social psychology, Vol. 4. Personality processes and individual differences (pp. 577–599). American Psychological Association. DOI:

Luthar, S. S., Cicchetti, D., & Becker, B. (2000). The construct of resilience: A critical evaluation and guidelines for future work. Child Development, 71(3), 543–562. DOI:

McCrae, R.R., & Costa, P.T. (1991). The NEO Personality Inventory: Using the Five-Factor Model in counseling. Journal of Counseling & Development, 69(4), 367–372. DOI:

McMahon, C. A., Gibson, F. L., Allen, J. L., & Saunders, D. (2007). Psychosocial adjustment during pregnancy for older couples conceiving through assisted reproductive technology. Human Reproduction, 22(4), 1168–1174. DOI:

Melendez Moral, J., Fortuna Terrero, F., Sales Galan, A., & Mayordomo Rodriguez, T. (2015). Effect of integrative reminiscence therapy on depression, well-being, integrity, self-esteem, and life satisfaction in older adults. Journal of Positive Psychology, 10(3), 240–247. DOI:

Mendoza Ruvalcaba, N.M., Arias-Merino, E., Flores Villavicencio, M., Díaz-García, I., & Rodríguez Díaz, M. (2017). Successful aging and cognitive functioning in older adults. Innovation in Aging, 1(Suppl 1), 1181–1182. DOI:

Milovanović, J.M. (2019). Problem steriliteta u kontekstu teorije stresa: značaj rezilijentnosti i samoefikasnosti za odnos mehanizma prevladavanja, stresa i kvaliteta života [Doktorska disertacija, Filozofski fakultet, Univerzitet u Beogradu]. NaRDuS.

Mroczek, D. K., & Kolarz, C. M. (1998). The effect of age on positive and negative affect: A developmental perspective on happiness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75(5), 1333–1349. DOI:

Mroczek, D. K., & Spiro, A. III. (2005). Change in Life Satisfaction During Adulthood: Findings From the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88(1), 189–202. DOI:

Nadler, J.D., Damis, L.F., & Richardson, E.D. (1997). Psychosocial aspects of aging. In Nussbaum, P.D. (Eds.), Handbook of neuropsychology and aging (pp. 44-59). Springer. DOI:

Netuveli, G., Wiggins, R. D., Montgomery, S. M., Hildon, Z., & Blane, D. (2008). Mental health and resilience at older ages: bouncing back after adversity in the British Household Panel Survey. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 62(11), 987–991. DOI:

Olawa, B.D., & Idemudia, E.S. (2020). The extraversion-neuroticism and geriatric depression relations: do social engagements and social supports have roles to play? Heliyon, 6(12), e05719. DOI:

Parker, M.G., & Thorslund, M. (2007). Health trends in the elderly population: getting better and getting worse. The Gerontologist, 47(2), 150–158. DOI:

Patel, S. S., Rogers, M. B., Amlôt, R., & Rubin, G. J. (2017). What Do We Mean by 'Community Resilience'? A Systematic Literature Review of How It Is Defined in the Literature. PLoS Currents, 9, ecurrents.dis.db775aff25efc5ac4f0660ad9c9f7db2.

Prenda, K. M., & Lachman, M. E. (2001). Planning for the future: a life management strategy for increasing control and life satisfaction in adulthood. Psychology and aging, 16(2), 206–216. DOI:

Robins, R.W., & Trzesniewski, K.H. (2005). Self-esteem development across the lifespan. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14(3), 158–162. DOI:

Rossi, G., Debast, I., & van Alphen, S.P.J. (2017). Measuring personality functioning in older adults: construct validity of the Severity Indices of Personality Functioning - Short Form (SIPP-SF). Aging & Mental Health, 21(7), 703–711. DOI:

Rowe, J. W., & Kahn, R. L. (1997). Successful aging. The Gerontologist, 37(4), 433–440. DOI:

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2001). On happiness and human potentials: A review of research on hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 141–166. DOI:

Ryff, C. D. (1991). Possible selves in adulthood and old age: A tale of shifting horizons. Psychology and Aging, 6(2), 286–295. DOI:

Ryff, C. D., Singer, B., Love, G. D., & Essex, M. J. (1998). Resilience in adulthood and later life: Defining features and dynamic processes. In J. Lomranz (Ed.), Handbook of aging and mental health: An integrative approach (pp. 69–96). Plenum Press. DOI:

Ryff, C.D., & Singer, B. (2000). Interpersonal flourishing: A positive health agenda for the new millennium. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 4(1), 30–44. DOI:

Salamene, L.C., Martins, E.L.M., Lucchetti, G., & Lucchetti, A.L.G. (2021). Factors associated with successful aging in Brazilian community-dwelling older adults: When physical health is not enough. Geriatric Nursing, 42(2), 372–378. DOI:

Smederevac, S., Mitrović, D. i Čolović, P. (2010). Velikih pet plus dva: Primena i interpretacija. Centar za primenjenu psihologiju.

Spahni, S., Morselli, D., Perrig-Chiello, P., & Bennett, K M. (2015). Patterns of Psychological Adaptation to Spousal Bereavement in Old Age. Gerontology, 61(5), 456–468. DOI:

Steca, P., Alessandri, G., & Caprara, G.V. (2010). The utility of a well-known personality typology in studying successful aging: Resilients, undercontrollers, and overcontrollers in old age. Personality and Individual Differences, 48(4), 442–446. DOI:

Steel, P., Schmidt, J., & Shultz, J. (2008). Refining the relationship between personality and subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 134(1), 138–161. DOI:

Stock, W. A., Okun, M. A., & Benin, M. (1986). Structure of subjective well-being among the elderly. Psychology and Aging, 1(2), 91–102. DOI:

Suls, J., Martin, R., & David, J.P. (1998). Person-Environment Fit and its Limits: Agreeableness, Neuroticism, and Emotional Reactivity to Interpersonal Conflict. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 24(1), 88–98. DOI:

Tinkler L., Hicks S. (2011). Measuring subjective well-being. London: Office for National Statistics.

Tourunen, A., Siltanen, S., Saajanaho, M., Koivunen, K., Kokko, K., & Rantanen, T. (2021). Psychometric properties of the 10-item Connor-Davidson resilience scale among Finnish older adults. Aging and Mental Health, 25(1), 99–106. DOI:

Urtamo, A., Jyväkorpi, S. K., & Strandberg, T. E. (2019). Definitions of successful ageing: a brief review of a multidimensional concept. Acta bio-medica: Atenei Parmensis, 90(2), 359–363.

Vasić, A., Šarčević, D i Trogrlić, A. (2011). Zadovoljstvo životom u Srbiji. Primenjena psihologija, 2, 151–177. DOI:

von Humboldt, S., Leal, I., & Pimenta, F. (2014). What Predicts Older Adults’ Adjustment to Aging in Later Life? The Impact of Sense of Coherence, Subjective Well-Being, and Sociodemographic, Lifestyle, and Health-Related Factors. Educational Gerontology, 40(9), 641–654. DOI:

Wagnild G. (2003). Resilience and successful aging. Comparison among low and high income older adults. Journal of gerontological nursing, 29(12), 42–49. DOI:

Wang, Y., Xu, J., & Chen, Y. (2023) Association between resilience and subjective well-being among community old adults. Chinese Journal of Public Health 39(2), 201–205.

Weber, K., Giannakopoulos, P., Herrmann, F.R., Bartolomei, J., Digiorgio, S., Ortiz Chicherio, N., Delaloye, C., Ghisletta, P., Lecerf, T., De Ribaupierre, A., & Canuto, A. (2013). Stressful life events and neuroticism as predictors of late-life versus early-life depression. Psychogeriatrics, 13(4), 221–228. DOI:

Westerhof, G.J., Whitbourne, S. K., & Freeman, G.P. (2012). The aging self in a cultural context: The relation of conceptions of aging to identity processes and self-esteem in the United States and the Netherlands. The journals of gerontology: Series B, 67(1), 52–60. DOI:

Whitbourne, S.K. (2012). The aging body: Physiological changes and psychological consequences. Springer Science & Business Media.

Whitbourne, S.K., Sneed, J.R., & Skultety, K.M. (2002). Identity processes in adulthood: Theoretical and methodological challenges. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 2(1), 29–45. DOI:

Windle, G., Woods, R.T., & Markland, D.A. (2010). Living with Ill-Health in Older Age: The Role of a Resilient Personality. Journal of Happiness Studies, 11(6), 763–777. DOI:

Wood, B.M., Nicholas, M.K., Blyth, F., Asghari, A., & Gibson, S. (2010). The utility of the short version of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21) in elderly patients with persistent pain: does age make a difference? Pain Medicine, 11(12), 1780–1790. DOI:

World Health Organization (2015). World report on ageing and health. World Health Organization.

Zafari, M., Sadeghipour Roudsari, M., Yarmohammadi, S., Jahangirimehr, A., & Marashi, T. (2023). Investigating the relationship between spiritual well-being, resilience, and depression: A cross-sectional study of the elderly. Psychogeriatrics, 23(3), 442–449. DOI:

Zhang, J.W., & Howell, R.T. (2011). Do time perspectives predict unique variance in life satisfaction beyond personality traits? Personality and Individual Differences, 50(8), 1261–1266. DOI:




How to Cite

Petrović, J., Kovač, L., & Dinić, B. M. (2024). The effects of resilience and basic personality traits on subjective well-being in elderly. Primenjena Psihologija, 17(1), 141–168.



Regular issues