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Aging men: More uplifts, fewer hassles until the age of 65-70
Date:2/20/2014

CORVALLIS, Ore. A new study of how men approach their golden years found that how happy individuals are remains relatively stable for some 80 percent of the population, but perceptions of unhappiness or dealing with "hassles" tends to get worse once you are about 65-70 years old.

The reasons vary, researchers say, but may be because of health issues, cognitive decline or the loss of a spouse or friends.

"In general, life gets better as you age in the sense that older adults on average have fewer hassles and respond to them better than younger adults," said Carolyn Aldwin, a gerontology professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University and lead author on the study. "And they also experienced more uplifts a least, until their mid-70s."

"But once you turn 70, how you react to these hassles changes and may be dependent on your resources or your situation in life," added Aldwin, the Jo Anne Leonard endowed director of OSU's Center for Healthy Aging Research.

Results of the study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs, are being published in the journal Psychology and Aging.

The researchers used data from the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study, which looked at 1,315 men ages 53 to 85 years of age predominantly comprised of white males who were initially in good health at entry into the study in the 1960s. This particular study aimed to take a fresh look at the emotional reactions of older adults and evaluate whether three previously established, yet contradictory models of aging had validity.

One of those models, known as the hedonic treadmill model, suggests that how happy or unhappy you are is relatively stable through your life, outside of a few up-or-down blips. A second theory posits that in general things get better as you age, while the third says your life will spiral downhill rapidly once you tur
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Contact: Carolyn Aldwin
Carolyn.aldwin@oregonstate.edu
541-737-2024
Oregon State University
Source:Eurekalert

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