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Description: Based on what you know or on what you think is likely to be true name some things adults can or should do to increase their lifespan. I bet things like eating well, regular exercise and moderation in things like alcohol intake are on your list. But what about psychological (cognitive things)? I don’t mean things like not being depressed or anxious but, rather, what is something cognitive that adults can do or work at doing that will increase their life span? Once you have your hypothesis or hypotheses in mind have a read through the article linked below to see what recent research suggests and good things for adults to work towards.

Source: Higher sense of purpose in life may be linked to lower mortality risk, study finds, Science News, ScienceDaily.

Date: November 15, 2022

Image by sahinsezerdincer from Pixabay

Article Link:

So, are you convinced that working on developing and maintaining a sense of purpose through your adult life might be a good thing? The study discussed in the linked article is a solid one, based on a very large and well-constructed sample. The researchers also looked at related variables so that they could better focus upon the role of purpose in mortality rates. Of course such studies are somewhat correlational and as such are open to questions like: Could it be that people with collections of mortality increasing factors have their sense of purpose eroded in a sort of “what is the point” manner? The longitudinal nature of the larger, ongoing, survey process does mitigate the concerns contained in such questions and, while further research is being done it might be wise to spend a bit of regular time working on your ikigai (use the link to look it up).

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What sorts of things can, or should, adults do that could increase their lifespans?
  2. How might a sense of purpose (in life) be related to mortality/longevity?
  3. What sorts of things might we do to get adults to focus on and work on their sense of purpose?

References (Read Further):

Koichiro Shiba, Laura D. Kubzansky, David R. Williams, Tyler J. VanderWeele, Eric S. Kim. (2022) Purpose in life and 8-year mortality by gender and race/ethnicity among older adults in the U.S. Preventive Medicine, 2022; 164: 107310 Link

Shiba, K., Kubzansky, L. D., Williams, D. R., VanderWeele, T. J., & Kim, E. S. (2021). Associations between purpose in life and mortality by SES. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 61(2), e53-e61. Link

Reker, G. T., Peacock, E. J., & Wong, P. T. (1987). Meaning and purpose in life and well-being: A life-span perspective. Journal of gerontology, 42(1), 44-49. Link

Hill, P. L., & Turiano, N. A. (2014). Purpose in life as a predictor of mortality across adulthood. Psychological science, 25(7), 1482-1486. Link

Boyle, P. A., Barnes, L. L., Buchman, A. S., & Bennett, D. A. (2009). Purpose in life is associated with mortality among community-dwelling older persons. Psychosomatic medicine, 71(5), 574. Link

Miyazaki, J., Shirai, K., Kimura, T., Ikehara, S., Tamakoshi, A., & Iso, H. (2022). Purpose in life (Ikigai) and employment status in relation to cardiovascular mortality: the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study. BMJ open, 12(10), e059725. Link

Wilkes, J., Garip, G., Kotera, Y., & Fido, D. (2022). Can Ikigai Predict Anxiety, Depression, and Well-being?. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 1-13. Link