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01-01-2015 | Brief Communication | Uitgave 1/2015

Quality of Life Research 1/2015

Life satisfaction and social desirability across the late life span: What relationship?

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 1/2015
Maria Chiara Fastame, Maria Pietronilla Penna, Paul Kenneth Hitchcott



The current study mainly aimed to investigate the impact of social desirability in predicting life satisfaction in cognitively healthy elderly people.


One hundred and seventy-eight 65- to 99-year-old adults were recruited in Sardinia, an Italian Isle known for the longevity of its inhabitants, and were presented a battery of questionnaires assessing subjective well-being, metacognitive efficiency, depressive symptoms and socially desirable responding style.


An analysis of covariance and a hierarchical regression analysis showed that the social desirable style does have a marginal impact on self-referent measures of life satisfaction. Indeed, only 5 % of the variance in life satisfaction was predicted by self-rated social desirability.


Social desirability does not seem to bias the self-assessment of an important aspect of quality of life in late adulthood. That is, life satisfaction of Italian elderly people does not seem to be impacted by the tendency to present themselves in a more favourable way.

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