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Work, Retirement, Leisure, and Optimal Aging

Work, Retirement, Leisure, and Optimal Aging

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Work, Retirement, Leisure, and Optimal Aging

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  1. Work, Retirement, Leisure, and Optimal Aging Lecture 12 December 5, 2007

  2. Final Exam • 40 multiple choice questions, 5 short answers & 1 long answer. • Monday, December 10 at 7 pm in Kruger Hall in Woodsworth College

  3. Tonight’s Lecture • All about work! • Why have leisure activities? • How do people deal with retirement? • What is successful aging?

  4. Why Work? • Although most people work for money, other reasons are highly variable. • They include, prestige, recognition, and a sense of worth • Occupational priorities have changed over time. • Younger workers’ expectations from their occupations are lower and their emphasis on personal growth is higher.

  5. How Does The Importance of Work Change Over Time? • In a longitudinal AT&T study, changes in workers' priorities have been documented. • The shorter the time a person had been on the job, the lesser their expectations of rewards (and vice versa). • However, this was only true for high-level management. • Lower-level management showed a decline over time.

  6. Figure 12.1 Changes in the relative importance of work at different levels of management in the AT&T study.

  7. Occupational Choice • Holland’s theory • Holland’s theory is focused on the idea that people choose occupations that optimize the fit between their individual traits and their occupational interests • Six personality types that represent different combinations have been identified • Investigative • Social • Realistic • Artistic • Conventional • Enterprising

  8. Occupational Development • Super’s theory • Super describes five stages in adulthood, based on self-concept and adaptation to an occupational role • Implementation • Establishment • Maintenance • Deceleration • Retirement • The more congruent a person’s occupational behaviors are with what is expected of them at different ages, the more vocationally mature they are.

  9. What Do People Expect From Their Occupation? • People have expectations about what they want to become and when they hope to get there • Expectations change as the result of: • Realizing that one’s interests have changed or the dream was not a good fit. • But also due to age, race, or sexual discrimination, lack of opportunity, and obsolescence of skills.

  10. What Do People Expect From Their Occupation? • Reality Shock • The realization that one’s expectations about an occupation are different from the reality one experiences. • Reality shock is common among young workers. • This happens most to young adults and people with little relevant experience prior to assuming a new job. • The outcome of reality shock is often a revision of personal priorities in life.

  11. Why Do Workers Mentor or Need Mentoring? • A mentor is a co-worker who teaches a new employee the unwritten rules and fosters occupational development. • Mentor-protégé relationships develop over time, through stages, like other relationships. • Being a mentor helps middle-aged workers achieve generativity. • Kram suggests that a four-stage sequence occurs in mentor-protégé relationships: • Initiation • Cultivation • Separation • Redefinition

  12. Job Satisfaction • The positive feelings that results from an appraisal of one’s work. • Job satisfaction tends to show low to moderate increases with age. • Older workers report higher job satisfaction than younger workers. • This may be partly because of self-selection • Unhappy workers may quit • Other reasons include intrinsic satisfaction, good fit, lower importance of work, finding non-work diversions, and life-cycle factors.

  13. I Can’t Get No Satisfaction • Alienation • Feeling that what one is doing is meaningless. • Burnout • Too much stress in one’s occupation and can lead to: • Loss of energy and motivation. • Loss of occupational idealism. • Feeling that one is being exploited.

  14. Gender Differences in Occupational Choices • Currently, 66.4% of women work outside of the home, with this number on the rise (Department of Labor, 2002). • Many women have difficulty finding occupations that match their level of skill. • Women in nontraditional occupations are viewed more poorly by both men and women. • Women in traditional female occupations changed jobs less often.

  15. Traditional and Nontraditional Occupations • Research in this area has focused on three issues: • Selection of nontraditional occupations. • Characteristics of women in nontraditional occupations. • Perceptions of nontraditional occupations.

  16. Women in the Workplace • Betz found that 10 years after college graduation: • Only 1% of women had been full-time homemakers. • While 79% reported having successfully combined work and family. • Women who leave well-paid occupations do so for many reasons, including: • Family obligations - for women working part-time. • Workplace issues - for women working full-time. • Women who continue to work full-time: • Have adequate child care. • Look for ways to further their occupational development.

  17. Age Discrimination • Making employment decisions only on the basis of age or denying employment or promotion if the worker is over the age of 40. • Age discrimination occurs in many ways, such as differential layoff patterns and stereotypical views about older workers.

  18. Occupational Change • Factors influencing occupational change include: • Dislike • Which results in quitting or seeking other employment. • Worker obsolescence • For example, technological developments that eliminate jobs. • Economic factors which result in layoffs or downsizing • For example, recessions.

  19. Retraining Workers • Rapid changes in the nature of work have resulted in the displacement of older workers. • According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census • 51.4% of workers 55 to 64 years old do not find new employment. • Whereas 65% to 70% of workers under 35 do find new employment.

  20. Retraining Workers • As a result, there is greater career plateauing: • When there is a lack of promotional opportunity in an organization or a person chooses not to seek advancement. • Thus, learning new skills is essential to maximize one’s opportunities. • To adapt to the effects of the global economy and an aging work force, many corporations provide retraining opportunities for workers.

  21. Leisure Activities • Four categories are usually used to help organize leisure activities • Cultural • Physical • Social • Solitary • Leisure activities can also be considered in terms of the degree of cognitive, emotional, or physical involvement. • Preoccupations • Ideas and feelings about things one would like to do can become more focused as interests. • This can lead to the selection of particular leisure activities.

  22. Why Do People Engage in Leisure? • Kelly et al. (1986) • Companionship in the activity • Strengthening primary relationships • Competence and skill development • Expression and personal development • Health and exercise • Meeting role expectations • General enjoyment

  23. Why Certain Activities Rather Than Others? • People develop a repertoire of preferred leisure activities. • Each activity has a different meaning and importance to every individual. • The activities are determined by perceived competence and psychological comfort. • Perceived competence - how good we think we are at the activity compared to others. • Psychological comfort - how well we meet our personal goals for performance.

  24. How Does Leisure Change Over Time? • Longitudinal research shows that leisure preferences in adulthood reflect those in earlier life. • However, as people grow older, they tend to engage in leisure activities that are less strenuous and more family-oriented.

  25. Why Is Leisure Important? • Leisure activities promote well-being and can enhance all aspects of people’s lives. • Importantly, it is the amount of satisfaction you derive from your leisure activities, not your level of participation. • Quality rather than quantity of leisure activities.

  26. Impact of Leisure on Life Satisfaction in Retirement • Article by Nimrod (2007) • Interviewed 383 retirees between the ages of 50 and 85 about leisure activities, leisure benefits, and life satisfaction. • Activity Theory vs. Continuity Theory

  27. Impact of Leisure on Life Satisfaction in Retirement • Leisure does enhance psychological well-being, and is a crucial factor in life satisfaction in early retirement. • Needed for adaptation to retirement? • To early retirees, essentiality was a crucial benefit of leisure. For leisure to be work-like was also a benefit but not essential to well-being. • How does this apply to the Activity and Continuity Theories?

  28. What Does It Mean To Be Retired? • Retirement is largely a development of the 20th century, and is still an evolving concept. • What does being retired mean? • The way in which people withdraw from full-time employment. • Changing conceptions of work are resulting in changing conceptions of retirement. • Retirement can be crisp or blurred. • Crisp - making a clean break from employment by stopping work entirely. • Blurred - repeatedly leaving and returning to work, with some periods of unemployment.

  29. Why Do People Retire? • Most people retire because they choose to • Although some people are forced to retire because of financial status or serious health problems. • Health • The most important factor in determining early retirement and satisfaction. • Gender differences • A married woman's decision to retire is predicted most by her husband’s health status or number of dependents, the opposite is true for men.

  30. Planning For Retirement • Financial planning and realistic expectations toward retirement are important predictors of future satisfaction. • People who plan for retirement tend to be more successful in adapting to this major life change. • Pre-retirement education programs cover a variety of topics, including finances, attitudes, health, and expectations.

  31. Adjusting to Retirement • Retirement is an important life transition and can be stressful. • However, the degree of stress is related to attitudes toward retirement and whether retirement is voluntary. • Most people are satisfied with their retirement, as long as people: • Have financial security. • Have their health. • Have a supportive network of relatives and friends.

  32. Adjusting to Retirement • High satisfaction in early retirement includes • For men • Being in good health • Having enough income • Having retired voluntarily • For women • No one role was associated with satisfaction • For both men and women, high personal competence was associated with higher retirement satisfaction over the long run.

  33. Interpersonal Ties • All aspects of a person's life and interpersonal relationships are affected by retirement. • Being able to enjoy role as a parent & grandparent especially important for men to enjoy retirement. • Marital relationships: May undergo considerable stress until new role definitions are reached. • Readjusting to being home rather than at work is difficult for men in traditional marriages. • Sometimes marriages are disrupted, but married men are generally happier in retirement than men who are not married.

  34. What Is Successful Aging? The absence of disease and disability makes it easier to maintain mental and physical function. And maintenance of mental and physical function, in turn, enables (but does not guarantee) active engagement with life. It is the combination of all three—avoidance of disease and disability, maintenance of cognitive and physical function, and sustained engagement with life—that represents the concept of successful aging most fully (Rowe & Kahn, 1998, p. 39).

  35. Successful Aging • From everything we’ve discussed in class, what is successful aging? • What components need to be present? • What sense of aging do you come away with from this class?

  36. A Framework for Maintaining and Enhancing Competence • How to optimize the overall sense of competence: • Apply the three key adaptive mechanisms for aging: The SOC Model. • Selection • Optimization • Compensation • How to differentiate between successful aging and usual aging. • Successful Aging • Avoid disease • Be engaged with life • Maintain high cognitive and physical function

  37. Successful Aging • Outcomes of the SOC model that are visible signs of successful aging: • Enhanced competence • Quality of life • Future adaptations

  38. Keys To Optimal Aging • Adopt a healthy lifestyle; make it part of your daily routine. • Stay active cognitively; keep an optimistic outlook and maintain your interest in things. • Maintain a social network and stay engaged with others. • Maintain good economic habits to avoid financial dependency.

  39. Keeping Healthy • Little research available on health programs specifically for the elderly • A few trends are apparent: • Exercise is key to health • Health education programs are helpful • Health screening programs are effective in identifying chronic diseases that impact quality of life.

  40. However… • Quality of life is a very subjective concept. • One may see it differently than others perceive one’s QOL. • Older adults may be happy and satisfied despite health problems. • Can’t take poor health to equal unsatisfactory aging.

  41. The End Or The Beginning?