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BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to document the associations of stressors (combat exposure, retirement concerns, and late-life stressful events), personal resources (social support, sense of mastery, and positive appraisal of military experiences), and functional health (both physical and mental) with life satisfaction in older veterans. METHODS: Participants were 562 male combat veterans (mean age = 70). Self-report questionnaires were administered via mail survey. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis was performed. RESULTS: Each step of the regression analysis demonstrated a significant contribution to variance in life satisfaction (48% in total). Although stressors were significant when entered as a set, their influence dissipated in the presence of personal resources and functional health. For the full model, seven of 11 independent variables were unique and significant predictors, including all personal resource factors and both functional health indices. Sense of mastery was most potent. CONCLUSIONS: Even in the presence of stressors, personal resources and functional health appear to serve protective roles in explaining levels of life satisfaction among aging veterans.

Original publication




Journal article


Appl Psychol Health Well Being

Publication Date





261 - 275


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Aging, Combat Disorders, Health Status, Humans, Life Change Events, Male, Middle Aged, Personal Satisfaction, Quality of Life, Regression Analysis, Retirement, Sense of Coherence, Social Support, Surveys and Questionnaires, United States, Veterans, Vietnam Conflict