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Major grant for research on healthy aging
Date:2/15/2013

s, in turn, can increase the likelihood of chronic inflammation in the body the root cause of many illnesses. Wrosch explains that psychological distress can "elevate older adults' risk of entering a downward spiral towards progressively declining physical health."

The new research to be conducted by Wrosch and his team will study a possible solution to this problem. They believe that self-regulation behaviours, such as goal setting as well as selective persistence and goal adjustment, may have significant power to stop that dangerous cycle, and so improve the lives of the elderly.

Learning to set goals, and to determine which goals can be achieved and which must be abandoned, may provide a highly effective coping mechanism. This appears to be particularly important for adults over 80, who are more likely to face insurmountable obstacles. For this group, the practice of letting go of goals that cannot be achieved, and setting new, more achievable goals, may be an important determinant of good health.

This research will improve our understanding of the connection between mind and body by showing how changes in the mental and emotional state of the study's participants can have a measureable effect on their physical health. It will also lead to a better understanding of the psychological and biological pathways to successful and healthy aging. If the study's results are as expected, the evidence gathered could help design programs for older adults that teach effective coping and goal setting strategies to address common challenges. This would not only help the elderly lead healthier lives; it could also significantly reduce costs for public health services.


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Contact: Clea Desjardins
clea.desjardins@concordia.ca
514-848-2424
Concordia University
Source:Eurekalert

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