Quality of life and psychological health indicators in the national social life, health, and aging project

Sharon Shiovitz-Ezra*, Sara Leitsch, Jessica Graber, Amelia Karraker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Background The National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP) measures seven indicators of quality of life (QoL) and psychological health. The measures used for happiness, self-esteem, depression, and loneliness are well established in the literature. Conversely, measures of anxiety, stress, and self-reported emotional health were modified for their use in this unique project. The purpose of this paper is to provide (a) an overview of NSHAP's QoL assessment and (b) evidence for the adequacy of the modified measures. Methods First, we examined the psychometric properties of the modified measures. Second, the established QoL measures were used to examine the concurrent validity of the modified measures. Finally, gender- and age-group differences were examined for each modified measure.Results The anxiety index exhibited good internal reliability and concurrent validity. Consistent with the literature, a single-factor structure best fit the data. Stress was satisfactory in terms of concurrent validity but with only fair internal consistency. Self-reported emotional health exhibited good concurrent validity and moderate external validity. Conclusions The modified indices used in NSHAP tended to exhibit good internal reliability and concurrent validity. These measures can confidently be used in the exploration of QoL and psychological health in later life and its many correlates.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)i30-i37
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue numberSUPPL.1
StatePublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
NSHAP is supported by the National Institute on Aging, Office of Women’s Health Research, Office of AIDS Research, and the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research ( R01AG021487).


  • Later life
  • Measurement
  • Psychological health
  • Quality of life


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