Speaker: Prof. Sonia Lippke; Jacobs University Bremen, Germany

Time: 1pm-2:30pm, 11 October, 2019

Venue: 1115,wangkezhen Bldg

Abstract: In Germany, individuals who are unable to work for more than six hours per day due to their ill health can receive a temporary disability pension. However, this can mean a drastically reduced income, so that recipients are at risk for poverty and social deprivation. In a research study with disability pensioners in Germany, we aimed at improving the understanding of their understudied psychological situation and investigates (1) how temporary disability pensioners' perception of the sufficiency of their income (subjective financial resources), relate to their loneliness and life satisfaction, and (2) whether loneliness mediates the relationship between subjective financial resources and life satisfaction. Quantitative interview data was collected from N=199 participants. Frequency analysis, regression analysis and path analyses were run. Consistent with our theoretical prediction, subjective financial resources and loneliness showed a negative relation (beta=-.17; p<.05), whereas subjective financial resources and life satisfaction were positively correlated (beta=.32; p<.01). Additionally, a negative relation between loneliness and life satisfaction was found (beta=-.23; p<.01). Path analyses showed that loneliness partially mediated the relationship between subjective financial resources and life satisfaction (beta=.27; p<.01). The results from this study indicate that temporary disability pensioners with lower subjective financial resources may feel lonely, which in turn is related to lower life satisfaction. Low levels of life satisfaction and high levels of loneliness can have a wide range of negative effects and may hinder return to work. Interventions to improve temporary disability pensioners' life condition and self-regulation should consider including leisure activities and social support to overcome loneliness and social deprivation. The role of loneliness in general is elaborated on and findings from Germany discussed regarding their implications for cross-cultural research in the future.

Bio: Sonia Lippke is Professor of Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine at the Department of Psychology and Methdos, Jacobs University Bremen, Germany. There she started in 2011 and at the same time became Faculty Member at the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS). She obtained her PhD at the Department of Psychology; Health Psychology Unit, Freie Universität Berlin in 2004. Before that, she studied psychology in Göttingen, Germany. Her post-doctoral training she received at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. She also worked at the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands, and the Humboldt University Berlin.

Dr. Lippke’s research focuses on theory- and evidence-based health behavior promotion such as physical activity, healthy diet, and smoking cessation in different populations. She has published more than 200 academic articles which cover diverse samples and settings (e.g. worksites, rehabilitation centers, clinics) applying various techniques including internet based intervention and randomized controlled trials. She serving on the editorial board of three journals: “Applied Psychology: Health and Wellbeing” as Associate Editor, “Research in Sports Medicine: An International Journal” as member of the Editorial Board and “American Journal of Health Behavior” as member of the Review Board. In the year of 2014, she was elected as the president of the Health Psychology Division of the International Association for Applied Psychology (IAAP).

She received research funding from different national and international institutions. Her current research focusses on promotion physical activity of older people, investigating the interrelationship between physical fitness, behavior and employability of rehabilitation patients, training medical students to facilitate health literacy of their future patients as well as researching the orchestration of social participation of retirees and individuals receiving disability pension.

Host: Prof. Yiqun Gan