The Influence of Creativity on Objective and Subjective Well-being in Older Adulthood
With the average life expectancy of adults steadily increasing in the United States, it is critical for research to identify ways to promote well-being into older adulthood. A growing range of literature on aging suggests that involvement in creative processes is a promising way to increase older adults’ well-being, even among those who experience severe physical and/or cognitive declines or poor mental health. This chapter proposes a framework for understanding how both objective (mental health, physical health, cognitive outcomes) and subjective (psychosocial, emotional, life satisfaction) well-being are influenced by involvement in a number of creative processes. In addition, we review ways in which older adults can benefit from the positive effects of involvement in creative activities in their everyday consumption experiences. We discuss some caveats to the benefits of creativity on older adults’ well-being, including possible drawbacks. Finally, we propose a number of future directions for research on creativity and well-being in older adulthood.