Profiling retirees in the retirement transition and adjustment process: examining the longitudinal change patterns of retirees' psychological well-being

Mo Wang

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392 Citations (Scopus)


The author used role theory, continuity theory, and the life course perspective to form hypotheses regarding the different retirement transition and adjustment patterns and how different individual and contextual variables related to those patterns. The longitudinal data of 2 samples (n-sub-1 = 994; n-sub-2 = 1,066) from the Health and Retirement Survey were used. Three latent growth curve patterns of retirees' psychological well-being were identified as coexisting in the retiree samples through growth mixture modeling (GMM) analysis. On the basis of the latent class membership derived from GMM, retiree subgroups directly linked to different growth curve patterns were profiled with individual (e.g., bridge job status) and contextual variables (e.g., spouse working status). By recognizing the existence of multiple retiree subgroups corresponding to different psychological well-being change patterns, this study suggests that retirees do not follow a uniform adjustment pattern during the retirement process, which reconciles inconsistent previous findings. A resource perspective is further introduced to provide a more integrated theory for the current findings. The practical implications of this study are also discussed at both individual level and policy level. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-474
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Growth mixture modeling
  • Psychological well-being
  • Retirement transition and adjustment

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