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Individual images of aging and health in old age: How does a negative view on aging become a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Citation

Wurm, S and Schuez, BEC and Warner, LM and Ziegelmann, JP and Tesch-Romer, C, Individual images of aging and health in old age: How does a negative view on aging become a self-fulfilling prophecy?, Psychology & Health: Supplement 2, 20-24 September 2011, Hersonissos, Greece, pp. 62. ISSN 0887-0446 (2011) [Conference Extract]

Abstract

Objectives: Recently, a number of studies have provided evidence on long-term effects of self-perceptions of aging (SPA) on health. However, the mechanisms explaining this link still need to be better understood. This study therefore examined whether a negative SPA might impair the use of coping strategies.

Methods: A longitudinal study (PREFER) in N = 309 older people (65+) with multiple illnesses assessed SPA, coping strategies, health and serious health events.

Results: The SPA that aging is associated with physical losses can predict changes in the use of coping strategies for maintaining a healthy lifestyle (β = 0.17*). In case of a serious health event, this negative SPA leads to less adaptive reactions in terms of using coping strategies promoting healthy lifestyles (β = 0.11*).

Conclusions: The findings support the important role of SPA on health and suggest that a negative self-perception of aging impairs coping strategies that are important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:health behaviour, ageing perceptions
Research Division:Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Research Group:Psychology
Research Field:Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health)
Objective Field:Health Related to Ageing
Author:Schuez, BEC (Dr Benjamin Schuez)
ID Code:77965
Year Published:2011
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2012-06-06
Last Modified:2013-01-11
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