Indoor and outdoor activities of aged women and men as related to depression and well-being

Int J Aging Hum Dev. 1988;26(4):303-14. doi: 10.2190/QPEW-N6QX-FWDE-LA7E.


This article examines the relations between reported level of activity and measures of affect in old people exploring possible sex differences. It was hypothesized that these relations are mediated by the satisfaction from the specific activity. The sample consisted of fifty-four women and forty-five men, ranging in age from sixty to eighty, functioning normally in the community. A questionnaire assessed participants' levels of indoor/outdoor activities. Participants rated their satisfaction for each of these activities. Negative affect was measured by Zung's Self-Rating Depression Scale, and positive affect was measured by Bradburn's Well-Being (Affect-Balance) Scale. For male respondents, results showed significant negative correlations between depression and both activities, and significant positive correlations with respect to well-being. Significant positive correlation was obtained only between well-being and outdoor activity for female respondents. When satisfaction from the specific activity was controlled for, only two correlations remained significant in the male participants, lending partial support to the hypothesis. A multiple regression analysis revealed reported levels of activity could predict both depression and well-being for men much better than for women, whereas satisfaction from activity could do that much better for women than for men. Discussion deals with the sex differences regarding the meaning of activity in old age and its implications for affect. The differentiation between kinds of activity as well as measures of affect is also referenced.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Affect / physiology*
  • Aged / psychology*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Random Allocation
  • Regression Analysis