Navigation Links
Research: How you think about your age may affect how you age
Date:3/2/2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The saying "You're only as old as you feel" really seems to resonate with older adults, according to research from Purdue University.

"How old you are matters, but beyond that it's your interpretation that has far-reaching implications for the process of aging," said Markus H. Schafer, a doctoral student in sociology and gerontology who led the study. "So, if you feel old beyond your own chronological years you are probably going to experience a lot of the downsides that we associate with aging.

"But if you are older and maintain a sense of being younger, then that gives you an edge in maintaining a lot of the abilities you prize."

Schafer and co-author Tetyana P. Shippee, a Purdue graduate who is a research associate at Purdue's Center on Aging and the Life Course, compared people's chronological age and their subjective age to determine which one has a greater influence on cognitive abilities during older adulthood. Nearly 500 people ages 55-74 were surveyed about aging in 1995 and 2005 as part of the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States.

In 1995, when people were asked what age do you feel most of the time, the majority identified with being 12 years younger than they actually were.

"We found that these people who felt young for their age were more likely to have greater confidence about their cognitive abilities a decade later," Schafer said. "Yes, chronological age was important, but the subjective age had a stronger effect.

"What we are not sure about is what comes first. Does a person's wellness and happiness affect their cognitive abilities or does a person's cognitive ability contribute to their sense of wellness. We are planning to address this in a future study."

Schafer also said that the current study's findings have both positive and negative implications.

"There is a tremendous emphasis on being youthful in our society and that can have a negative effect for people," Schafer said. "People want to feel younger, and so when they do inevitably age they can lose a lot of confidence in their cognitive abilities.

"But on the other hand, because there is such a desire in America to stay young, there may be benefits of trying to maintain a sense of youthfulness by keeping up with new trends and activities that feel invigorating. Learning new technologies is one way people can continue to improve their cognitive abilities. It will be interesting to see how, or if, these cultural norms shift as the Baby Boomer generation ages."

Other studies have shown that women are prone to aging stereotypes, so Schafer expected to see that women who felt older about themselves would have less confidence in their cognitive abilities.

"There is a slight difference between men and women, but it's not as pronounced as we expected," Schafer said. "This was surprising because of the emphasis on physical attractiveness and youth that is often disproportionately placed on women."

Schafer also is studying how stressful events, such as family members' health issues, affect aging, as well as how happiness and aging relate.


'/>"/>

Contact: Amy Patterson Neubert
apatterson@purdue.edu
765-494-9723
Purdue University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Research: People With Type 2 Diabetes Improved Muscular Strength and Exercise Capacity Through Physical Therapist Exercise Counseling Combined With Fitness Center Exercise Training
2. Translational Research: From Bench to Bedside Capitol Hill Breakfast Briefing Hosted by the Council for American Medical Innovation
3. New research: Consumption of sugar substitutes assists in long-term weight control
4. Texas on Top of Cancer Research: Dallas Regional Chamber Hosts Forum on New $3 Billion Fund
5. Conning Research: Health Insurance Industry Premium Growth and Profitability Under Pressure Through 2011
6. Research: Improving treatment of patients with heart attack
7. Manhattan Research: Physician New Media Adoption in Emerging Pharma Markets - Webcast April 3
8. Radiological Society of North America research: Cancer risk from cardiac CT overstated
9. New Research: Americans Underestimate Dangers of Sudden Cardiac Arrest
10. Conning Research: Long Term Care Insurance Industry Continues to Search for Broader Market
11. New EBRI/Commonwealth Fund Research: Enrollment in Consumer-Driven Plans Remains Low, Survey Shows
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/4/2016)... ... December 03, 2016 , ... "Perfect Harmony comes with ... allowing FCPX editors to create professional looking video in a matter of minutes," ... contains a beautifully designed 3D environment for placing in personal media. Twenty pre-made ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... Aliso Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... December 04, ... ... self-animating lower third presets that have new attractive animation styles with unique displacement ... Pro3rd Displace features 30 pre-animated lower third designs. Choose from a variety of ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... Halfway through its partnership with First 5 ... services to more than 15,900 children 5 years old and younger and treatment services ... over a span of five years to Western University of Health Sciences, UCLA and ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 02, 2016 , ... For over twenty-four years, Doctors on Liens has published a ... find high quality medical care. When the company started in 1997, the directory was ... present day and the now ten-page directory features a vast array of medical specialists ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... ... Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) Portland today announced plans to ... and other developmental disabilities. The group, which is being launched with the help of ... to share stories and advice, seek help, and continue their education on how to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... December 2, 2016 On Thursday, ... honored excellence in research, development and innovation in the ... dinner was held in the presence of Sergey Tsyb, ... Russian Federation , Natalia Sanina, First Vice ... Murashko , Head of Roszdravnadzor, National Service of Control ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... Columbia , December 2, 2016 bioLytical Laboratories, ... INSTI HIV-Selbsttest, bei den Mitgliedern des Apothekenbundes von Kenia eingef├╝hrt. ... ... INSTI HIV Self Test! (PRNewsFoto/bioLytical Laboratories) ...      (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161201/444905 ) ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2, 2016 Lianluo Smart Limited (Nasdaq: ... Company") which develops, markets and sells medical devices ... China and international markets, recently attended ... Treatment New Progress Forum, co-hosted by the Institute ... , Guangdong Provincial People,s Hospital and Cardiology ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: