The relationships among illness-related stress and emotions, coping strategies, socio-economic status and life satisfaction of 90 elderly women with osteoarthritis were explored in this descriptive, correlational study Results of self-report interview data indicated that the women expenenced both positive and negative emotions in relation to their day-to-day life with osteoarthritis The coping behaviours used to manage the perceived stress of osteoarthritis included confrontive, palliative and emotive strategies Path analysis supported a significant and positive relationship between coping and life satisfaction and between objective and subjective measures of life satisfaction