Well-being and belief in a just world among rest home residents

Ramzi Nasser1, Jacqueline Doumit2, James Carifio3
1Qatar University, Qatar
2Nôtre Dame University, Lebanon
3University of Massachusetts-Lowell, United States
Cite this article:  Nasser, R. , Doumit, J. , & Carifio, J. (2011). Well-being and belief in a just world among rest home residents. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 39, 655-670.

Volume 39 Issue 5 | e2159 | Published: June 2011 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2011.39.5.655

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Several theorists have contended that belief in a just world may be one way elderly rest home residents cope with anxiety, fear, and depression and thus maintain their well-being. In this study we explored belief in a just world and length of time elderly have been residing in rest homes in Lebanon in relation to their levels of self-rated quality of life. A sample of 354 cognitively able elderly people were selected from 36 nursing homes. Interview questionnaires including a translated and validated Self-beliefs in a Just World Scale (BJW-S; Lipkus, Dalbert, & Siegler, 1996) and the EuroQol Visual Analogue Scale (EQ-VAS; Brooks, 1996) that measures respondents’ quality of life on a 20cm visual analogue scale. The relationship between Arabic BJW-S scores and length of stay measured on the EQ-VAS was examined using analysis of variance. The findings showed significant main effects for belief in a just world on levels of EQ-VAS, but no significant effects of length of time in rest home on levels of EQ-VAS. Residents who had strong beliefs in a just world seem to have better abilities to cope with negative life events and better self-rated feelings of well-being than did residents who did not believe the world was just and who rated their own well-being lower.

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