A felicidade
: interpretações, determinantes e implicações a partir da experiência de adultos com mais idade

  • Ana Margarida Caldeira Jesus (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The ageing of the population worldwide, particularly in Portugal, is pointed out as a milestone of today's society, largely associated with the increase in average life expectancy. Increasingly living alone and needing more care, there is a greater demand for institutions, by them or their relatives. A qualitative study was conducted with the main objective of understanding and exploring happiness in older people. Participants were 7 institutionalized older adults, 4 females and 3 males, aged between 65 and 80 years (M=74), using the sociodemographic questionnaire and the semi­-structured interview. Using the content analysis approach to analyze the data, 2nd order categories were constructed corresponding to the specific objectives ­ interpretations, determinates and implications of happiness. As far as interpretations of happiness are concerned, the 2nd order Categories are "Experiences and Moments", "The Others", "The Family" which shows that there is no single definition for happiness, however there are dimensions that seem not to be missing for its interpretation, namely the positive emotion caused by the experiences or moments lived, the relationship with oneself and with the other. With regard to the determinants, the 2nd order categories "Factors for Happiness", "The Human Dimension" and "The negative aspects associated with Happiness" were associated, which elucidates us for a positive response to basic needs (physical, financial, health), the fundamental existence of positive feelings and/or sensations and the absence of loss or loneliness. Regarding the implications, the 2nd order Categories are "Awareness of the presence or not of Happiness", "The age group" and "Achievement", where happiness is identified as something present, but with a strong connection to the past, namely to youth and also an interconnection with satisfaction with life. The results show that it is necessary to implement actions that allow older adults to acquire more positive perceptions about their aging and its consequences (such as greater dependence on others, lower physical and mental capacities, losses), as well as to develop greater social support networks that take care of their needs in order to suppress them as much as possible.
Date of Award10 May 2024
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorArmanda Gonçalves (Supervisor)


  • Qualitative study
  • Content analysis
  • Happiness
  • Institutionalized older adults


  • Mestrado em Psicologia Clínica e da Saúde

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