Empirical validation of a model of reminiscence and health in later life

Philippe Cappeliez, Norm O'Rourke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


This study addresses the adaptive value of functions of reminiscence with respect to physical and mental health in later life. A model examining the relationships between the functions of reminiscence and life satisfaction, psychiatric distress, and health is presented and tested. Self-positive (reminiscence for Identity, Death Preparation, and Problem Solving) and self-negative (reminiscence for Boredom Reduction, Bitterness Revival, and Intimacy Maintenance) functions have statistically significant and direct associations with the well-being of this sample of older adults, the first positively and the second negatively. Prosocial functions (reminiscence for Conversation, and to Teach-Inform Others) appear to have no direct link with health. Self-functions appear to have an important and lasting influence on physical and mental health, whereas prosocial functions may affect health by means of their role in emotional regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)P237-P244
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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