Functions of reminiscence and mental health in later life

Philippe Cappeliez, N. O'Rourke, H. Chaudhury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


This study examines the extent to which various forms of reminiscence predict life satisfaction and psychiatric distress with and without control for the contribution of personality traits (n = 420). Among older adults, reminiscences to revive old problems and to fill a void of stimulation were associated with lower life satisfaction and greater psychiatric distress. Reminiscence to maintain connection with a departed person also predicted psychiatric distress. In contrast, reminiscences for death preparation and to foster conversation were linked with higher life satisfaction. Based on our proposed model of the functions of reminiscence, discussion focuses on adaptive and non-adaptive uses of reminiscence in later life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-301
Number of pages7
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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