A Cross-National Comparison of Reminiscence Functions Between Canadian and Israeli Older Adults

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Abstract

Objectives.

Recently, a model of reminiscence and well-being has emerged in which reminiscence functions have been shown to predict both the mental and physical health of middle-aged and older adults. Yet this model has thus far been verified only with North American, Western European, and Australian participants. This study was undertaken to compare the latent structure of responses between Canadian and Israeli older adults to ascertain if 8 distinct reminiscence functions map onto 3 second-order factors which, in turn, contribute significantly to measurement of an overarching reminiscence latent construct.

Method.

For this study, 336 English Canadian and 206 Jewish Israeli adults more than 49 years of age provided responses for this study via an Internet website constructed specifically for this study.

Results.

Our findings demonstrate the psychometric equivalence as well as various cross-cultural differences in the relative strength of association between latent constructs (boredom reduction, bitterness revival, identity, and the overall contribution of self-negative functions to overall reminiscence).

Discussion.

We discuss various historical and geo-political factors that may account for these differences. For instance, recurrent war, ongoing terror, and regional instability make living and aging in Israel distinct from Canada. This model of reminiscence functions would appear sufficiently sensitive to capture cross-national differences.

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