Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Despite considerable interest in the retirement process, surprisingly, few studies have monitored the change in well-being of the retiree pre- to post-retirement. In the present study, 117 male retirees were assessed on several indices of well-being including, physical health, psychological distress, perceived control, retirement and global life satisfaction at 2-4 months pre-retirement, one year post-, and 6-7 years post-retirement. Retirees in the first year of retirement experienced a peak in psychological health and interpersonal satisfaction, as well as had increased energy, greater financial satisfaction than expected, and increased perceived internal control. At this time, retirees who had expected satisfaction with their activities and interpersonal domain were more satisfied with their overall life situation in retirement. These results provided some support for Atchley's suggestion that retirees may experience an initial honeymoon phase of retirement. At 6-7 years post-retirement, retirees reported a significant decrease in health satisfaction, accompanied by an increase in physical illness and psychological distress; while their perceived control became more internal. Given the decline in health in the long-term, the retirees' health satisfaction became a more prominent factor in their overall life satisfaction at this time. Finally, an internal locus of control may serve as a resource for adjustment during a time of change and lessened daily structure. Those retirees who became more internal in perceived control over time experienced an increase in activities satisfaction in the short-term. Retirees with an internal control orientation pre-retirement also were more satisfied with their finances and health in the long-term. From these results, it appears that the interpretation of adjustment in retirement and the identification of potential resources depends on the specific aspect of well-being investigated and on the time of measurement post-retirement.



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