Print version ISSN 0325-8203
RODRIGUEZ FEIJOO, Nélida. Atitudes toward retirement. Interdisciplinaria [online]. 2007, vol.24, n.1, pp. 5-42. ISSN 0325-8203.
This study had the following objectives: (1) To compare attitudes toward retirement in individuals before and after pension is received. (2) To analyze the influence of variables such as age, sex, marital status, education, occupation, agreement with the amount of pension, degree of work satisfaction, perception of social support, use of free time, presence or absence of future projects, level of self-respect, etc., upon the attitudes toward retirement in both groups. (3) To analyze the relationship between attitudes toward retirement and some personality traits. We had the following hypothesis: People with less affection, weak egos, highly anxious, with a tendency to blame themselves, with either more internal or external control, are the ones that show more unfavorable attitudes towards retirement. On the other hand, individuals with high levels of affection, with strong egos, with less anxiety, with lower tendencies to blame themselves, and with a good balance between internal and external control, show more favorable attitudes towards retirement. We designed two questionnaires: one for people before retirement and one for those already retired. The questionnaires were partly structured, with open and closed items, as well as a section for basic data (such as age, sex, marital status, education, and so on). The items in the questionnaires explored the following areas: work activities before retirement or presently, future projects, use of free time and their satisfaction with it, beliefs and level of religiosity, perception of social support, degree to which they agree with the amount of their pension, level of self respect and so on. With the purpose of measuring attitudes toward retirement, we constructed two scales using two methods: Osgood’s differential semantic method (Osgood, Suci & Tannenbaum, 1957) and Thurstone’s apparently equal intervals method (Thurstone & Chave, 1937). The score intercorrelations were factor analyzed, since one of the goals was to find the number of underlying dimensions in the tests, and thus have a validated scale to measure attitudes. To analyze the relationship between attitudes toward retirement and beliefs in the control of everyday life events, we used an abbreviated version based on Rotter’s former scale of locus of control (1966). To study the relationship between attitudes and some personality traits we selected Cattell’s factors of A (Affection), C (Ego strength), O (Guilt tendency), and Q4 (Anxiety) from the 16PF Test (Cattell, Eber & Tatsuoka, 1970). All these instruments were administered randomly to 300 people of ages 55 or more, living in a large urban area such as the city of Buenos Aires (República Argentina), 50% were people before retirement and 50% had already retired. We applied a multivariate statistical analysis on the data. The results showed that most of the variables which were studied have a significant influence, whether positive or negative, upon the attitudes toward retirement. Individuals with a positive attitude towards retirement obtained significantly higher scores in affection, ego strength, and significantly lower scores in guilt tendencies and anxiety compared to those with unfavorable attitudes. Besides, the people that maintain a good balance between internal and external control show more positive attitudes toward retirement than those who show prevalence in either type of control.
Keywords : Social Psycho-gerontology; Personality; Attitudes; Retirement; Pension.