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Abstract

Little is known about the physical health and psychological well-being of very old women, although they are one of the fastest growing segments of the population. The relationships among physical health, psychological well-being, and age were investigated using a developmental perspective and a multidimensional approach to the assessment of psychological wellbeing. Two hundred and forty-three elderly women completed multiple self-report measures of physical health status and psychological well-being. Multiple regression analyses indicated that older age was related to lower levels of purpose in life, personal growth, and positive relationships. Poor health, regardless of age, was associated with more depression and anxiety and lower levels of positive relationships and autonomy. Implications for the nursing care of elderly women are discussed. © 1993 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.