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Retirement, Control, and the Challenges of Aging

Pivetz, George Edward (2007) Retirement, Control, and the Challenges of Aging. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The value of exploring the potential risks of retirement to individual well-being via a longitudinal analysis framed by theory is demonstrated in this study in a variety of ways. The measures for well-being are a sense of personal control and the experience of depression, and the sample used is of 260 individuals who were either working in 1995 (T1) and 1998 (T2), retired at both times, or who moved from work to retirement between T1 and T2. The analysis used was a mixed model repeated-measures ANOVA, and the theory which helped frame and interpret the analysis was social learning theory. Well-being, itself, is defined as the capacity to live life to its fullest - often characterized as self-actualization which in all likelihood will be increasingly important to many of the exploding number of individuals who find that much of their life may actually follow retirement, which, in fact, is a relatively recent social institution. Among findings in this study which may be worth pursuing in the future via both qualitative and quantitative research are that 1) individuals working at both T1 and T2 demonstrated a significantly greater sense of personal control than those retired at both time periods; 2) that individuals who moved from work to retirement between T1 and T2 actually showed a modest increase in their sense of personal control, as opposed to the other work status groups; and 3) that individuals who moved from work to retirement actually showed a significant decrease in the experience of depression, again as opposed to the other two work status groups. Some objectives of future research suggested by these findings might be to 1) design studies focused on well-being which begin tracking individuals prior to retirement, with pre-retirement preparation programs offered by many private and public institutions, and continue to study those individuals for at least ten years, or even longer, as with the Harvard Study of Adult Development; 2) develop domain specific scales for a sense of personal control for both the work and retirement environments; and 3)focus attention on, and stimulate policy debate around, the costs and benefits to society of a relatively new social institution: retirement.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Pivetz, George
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKoeske, Garygkoeske@pitt.eduGKOESKE
Committee MemberYamatani, Hidenorihzy@pitt.eduHZY
Committee MemberAtman,
Committee MemberColeman, Mortonmc123@pitt.eduMC123
Date: 12 December 2007
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 30 November 2007
Approval Date: 12 December 2007
Submission Date: 7 December 2007
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Social Work > Social Work
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Personal Agency; Retirement Policy; Self-Actualizaiton
Other ID:, etd-12072007-111656
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:08
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:53


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