Late-life widowhood and meaning in life

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relationship between elders- marital status and length of widowhood, as well as other personal and familial resources and the sense of meaning in life, as defined by logotherapy, was tested among 180 Israeli elderly community dwellers aged 64-95. Results show that an event such as late-life widowhood can create a loss of the sense of meaning in life. In addition, a significant difference was found between married and recently widowed elders in relation to meaning in life. Other variables that affected and explained meaning in life were subjective health, education, the quality of social support relationships, and activity level. The results support Frankl's logotherapy approach, underscoring the importance of helping older people in general, and the widowed elders in particular, to discover and create new life meanings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-155
Number of pages16
JournalAgeing International
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was partially funded by JDC-ESHEL: The Association for the Planning and Development of Services for the aged in Israel.


  • Aging
  • Late-life widowhood
  • Logotherapy
  • Loss
  • Meaning in life
  • Personal growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)


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