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Sense of coherence, health and lifestyle in middle-aged women
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2010 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

According to the salutogenic theory put forth by Antonovsky, an individual’s sense of coherence (SOC) is central for maintaining health. The present study used data from middle-aged women being part of a longitudinal research program to investigate how SOC relates to health status (in terms of self-rated health and medicine consumption) and a set of lifestyle factors (physical exercise, alcohol consumption, nicotine consumption and dietary habits). Women with a strong SOC were hypothesized to exhibit better health profiles, consume less medication, and lead a healthier lifestyle than women with a weak SOC. The findings partly confirmed the hypotheses in showing that women with a strong SOC had better self-rated overall health, better psychological well-being, fewer self-reported diseases and lower medicine consumption. Contrary to the hypothesis, women with stronger SOC had more self-reported psychological and physical symptoms. Of the lifestyle factors, only dietary habits were significantly associated with SOC. The study shows that SOC is related to differences in health and medicine consumption in a homogeneous group of middle-aged women, while the association between SOC and lifestyle was found to be less prominent.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. , 25 p.
Keyword [en]
sense of coherence, self-rated health, medicine consumption, lifestyle, middle-aged women, symptoms, psychological well-being, overall health, physical exercise, alcohol, nicotine, dietary habits, education, marital status, BMI, SOC
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-40740OAI: diva2:326065
2010-06-01, Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 13:00
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2010-06-22 Created: 2010-06-21 Last updated: 2010-06-22Bibliographically approved

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