Adjustment to retirement through social identity change

Retirement involves a major life change, to which 30% of people fail to adjust successfully. Previous work in the social identity tradition suggests that the negative effects of significant life changes (e.g., moving into care) can be buffered by access to social group networks, but this possibility has not been examined in the context of retirement. This project addresses this gap through studies that establish the importance of social group factors for successful adjustment among Australian, English, American and Chinese retirees. It also tests the efficacy of a new model that seeks to improve adjustment to retirement by incorporating various forms of social planning into preparation for this transition.

Over 3 million Australians are currently retired from the labour force and this number is increasing. Successful adjustment to retirement is therefore vital to ensuring the well-being and continued productivity of a large section of the community. This project aims to improve our understanding of successful adjustment by exploring the wider social changes that retirement brings and providing a novel analysis of the capacity for social group processes to facilitate adjustment to this transition.