Gender differences and the will-to-live in old age.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


International statistical data show that compared to men, women are underprivileged in personal resources, such as education and income, physical health and function, and in psychological characteristics, all of which are expressed in lower levels of subjective wellbeing (SWB). Literature shows that SWB is evaluated by numerous scales, which refer to various aspects of SWB. The purpose of this paper is threefold: a) to demonstrate the worldwide phenomenon of gender difference; b) to present a relatively new and unique indicator of wellbeing that is especially appropriate for older adults--the Will-to-Live (WTL), and a scale to evaluate it; c) to examine whether in old age, women differ from men in the strength of their wish to continue living. Results of a series of studies on older persons using the WTL scale indicate that the WTL is a multifaceted generalized indicator of wellbeing that systematically depicts the existing gender differences, indicating that women rank lower on SWB, and have a lower commitment to life than men. The WTL also predicts mortality among women, and is explained by different factors among men and women. As a measure, the WTL is a simple, parsimonious, easy to use tool, and well accepted by older people. Due to its diagnostic and prognostic values, as well as its good psychometric features, the WTL is recommended for practical use in monitoring changes in wellbeing, and evaluating effectiveness of intervention programs directed towards improving the wellbeing of older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-53
Number of pages5
JournalPrzegla̧d lekarski
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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