Ageing well in different community context - A quantitative study of life satisfaction among adults over 50 years of age in association with living environment and municipality population size in Norway.
In Norway, an increased proportion of the population are relocating from less central areas to be closer to the bigger cities. Moving tendencies towards more central locations are on historic highs but it is important to keep in mind that this movement is not occurring on a uniform fashion across the population. Relocation trends are significantly higher among younger adults, leaving behind shrinking municipalities with higher shares of older persons. This trend generates several challenges in terms of sustainability and territorial cohesion. This thesis focuses on an apparent trivial aspect regarding this change: Life satisfaction. The aim of this thesis is to examine the associations between subjective life satisfaction, living environment and municipality population size among adults over 50 years of age in Norway. This is a quantitative, crosssectional analysis using data from the third wave of the Norwegian Life Course, Ageing and Generation Study (NorLAG). The methods used includes univariate, bivariate and multiple regression analyses. The study uses a neighbourhood resource-based theory of social capital as frame of reference, looking at elements such as structural antecedents, social cohesion and forms of social capital. Using an approach of positive psychology this thesis focuses on what characterises those who report higher satisfaction in life. Research regarding living environment and life satisfaction is relevant for the development and implementation of aging policies. The results of the study indicate that living environment, in the form of feeling of togetherness in the neighbourhood and satisfaction with community, is an important factor when explaining variations of satisfaction with life. The variable of municipality population size is less important in the direct association with life satisfaction. The results also show positive association between municipalities with fewer inhabitants and feeling of togetherness in the neighbourhood.
Rustad, Sanna Bolstad