Health, wealth, and happiness: financial resources buffer subjective well-being after the onset of a disability.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

We examined the hypothesis that the relationship between financial status and subjective well-being, typically found to be very small in cross-sectional studies, is moderated by health status. Specifically, we predicted that wealth would buffer well-being after the onset of a disability. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, a longitudinal study of people at and approaching retirement age, we employed within-subjects analyses to test whether wealth measured prior to the onset of a disability protected participants' well-being from some of the negative effects of a new disability. We found support for this hypothesis: Participants who were above the median in total net worth reported a much smaller decline in well-being after a new disability than did participants who were below the median. We also found some evidence that the buffering effect of wealth faded with time, as below-median participants recovered some of their well-being.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Smith, DM; Langa, KM; Kabeto, MU; Ubel, PA

Published Date

  • September 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 16 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 663 - 666

PubMed ID

  • 16137249

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-9280

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0956-7976

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2005.01592.x


  • eng