In support of innovation theory: Innovation in activity patterns and life satisfaction among recently retired individuals

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Abstract

A central theme of 'innovation theory', which the author and a colleague have proposed and which is concerned with the triggers, types and benefits of innovation in later life, is that adding brand-new leisure activities after retiring from work enhances post-retirement wellbeing. The study reported in this article aimed to examine this proposition using quantitative data from a nationwide sample in Israel of 378 recently retired individuals. The study explored the frequency of post-retirement innovation in people's leisure repertoires, the association between innovation and retirees' life satisfaction, and factors in the differing life satisfaction of innovators and non-innovators. The results indicate that the inclination toward innovation significantly associated with the respondents' work and retirement histories, as well as with their self-rated health and world region of origin. Innovators had significantly higher life satisfaction than non-innovators, but this difference could not be explained by the number of new activities. In addition, socio-demographic differences failed to explain innovators' wellbeing. While some support for innovation theory was provided, further research is required to explore the dynamics by which innovation at older ages contributes to retirees' wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)831-846
Number of pages16
JournalAgeing and Society
Volume28
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2008

Keywords

  • Continuity theory
  • Innovation theory
  • Leisure
  • Life satisfaction
  • Retirement

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