Subjective adaptation to loss of the work role: a longitudinal study.
Both social psychologists and social gerontologists have expressed considerable interest in adaptation to the loss of central life roles. The relationship between retirement and morale, where morale is viewed as an indicator of adaptation, is an example of research within this theoretical framework. In this study, longitudinal data for a select sample of 58 male subjects were used to examine intensively the process of adaptation to retirement. The strongest finding was evidence of high levels of adaptation in the sample as reflected in the overwhelming stability of morale over time. Multiple regression analysis indicated that social resources, particularly marital status and socioeconomic status, condition the relationship between adaptation and retirement. In summary, our analysis supports current suggestions that retirement be viewed as an event which occasions a complex social process of adaptation conditioned by a variety of resource and temporal variables.
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