Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Attributing illness to ‘old age:’ Consequences of a self-directed stereotype for health and mortality

Attributing illness to ‘old age:’ Consequences of a self-directed stereotype for health and... Stereotypic beliefs about older adults and the aging process have led to endorsement of the myth that ‘to be old is to be ill.’ This study examined community-dwelling older adults’ (N = 105, age 80+) beliefs about the causes of their chronic illness (ie, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.), and tested the hypothesis that attributing the onset of illness to ‘old age’ is associated with negative health outcomes. A series of multiple regressions (controlling for chronological age, gender, income, severity of chronic conditions, functional status and health locus of control) demonstrated that ‘old age’ attributions were associated with more frequent perceived health symptoms, poorer health maintenance behaviours and a greater likelihood of mortality at 2-year follow-up. The probability of death was more than double among participants who strongly endorsed the ‘old age’ attribution as compared to those who did not (36% vs. 14%). Findings are framed in the context of self-directed stereotypes and implications for potential interventions are considered. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Psychology & Health Taylor & Francis

Attributing illness to ‘old age:’ Consequences of a self-directed stereotype for health and mortality

17 pages

Loading next page...
 
/lp/taylor-francis/attributing-illness-to-old-age-consequences-of-a-self-directed-IOABuCn90L

References (91)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1476-8321
eISSN
0887-0446
DOI
10.1080/08870446.2011.630735
pmid
22149693
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Stereotypic beliefs about older adults and the aging process have led to endorsement of the myth that ‘to be old is to be ill.’ This study examined community-dwelling older adults’ (N = 105, age 80+) beliefs about the causes of their chronic illness (ie, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.), and tested the hypothesis that attributing the onset of illness to ‘old age’ is associated with negative health outcomes. A series of multiple regressions (controlling for chronological age, gender, income, severity of chronic conditions, functional status and health locus of control) demonstrated that ‘old age’ attributions were associated with more frequent perceived health symptoms, poorer health maintenance behaviours and a greater likelihood of mortality at 2-year follow-up. The probability of death was more than double among participants who strongly endorsed the ‘old age’ attribution as compared to those who did not (36% vs. 14%). Findings are framed in the context of self-directed stereotypes and implications for potential interventions are considered.

Journal

Psychology & HealthTaylor & Francis

Published: Aug 1, 2012

Keywords: attribution; health; mortality; older adults; self-directed stereotype

There are no references for this article.