This study explores whether the balance of positive to negative affect can discriminate states of well-being in nursing home residents with dementia and whether affect balance is associated with activity engagement. Measures of agitation and affect were taken from video recordings of observational sessions, while measures of engagement and self-reported mood were taken in real time. Participants with high well-being had a mean ratio of positive–negative affect of 2.21 (±0.50), a ratio significantly different than that of participants with moderate to low well-being. Affect balance was related to greater activity engagement.

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National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research (R01NR008910)


Kolanowski, A. M., VanHaitsma, K., Meeks, S., & Litaker, M. (2014.). Affect balance and relationship with well-being in nursing home residents with dementia. American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias, 29(5), 457-462. doi: 10.1177/1533317513518657

Team Members as Authors

Members of the the PELI Team who contributed to this publication.

Kimberly VanHaitsma, Ph.D., FGSA

Avatar for Dennis Cheatham

Dennis Cheatham

Communication Director

Professor, Penn State Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing
Director, Program for Person-Centered Living Systems of Care

Kimberly VanHaitsma, Ph.D., FGSA