Psychosocial Factors which Promote Successful Aging
- October 6, 2017
- Posted by: marlenedubois
- Category: CPR Training
There are several psychological along with also social factors which have been linked to increased individual life expectancy along with also quality of life in older adults. While the majority of attention from the life extension along with also successful aging field has focused on physical factors such as exercise, diet, sleep, genetics along with also so on, there will be a growing body of evidence which suggests which psychological along with also sociological factors also have a significant influence on how well individuals age (Warnick, 1995).
Warnick (1995) believes which adjusting to the modifications which accompany late adulthood along with also old age requires which an individual will be able to be flexible along with also develop brand-new coping skills to adapt to the modifications which are common to This particular time in their lives. Aging research has demonstrated a positive correlation between someone’s religious beliefs, social relationships, perceived health, self-efficacy, socioeconomic status, along with also coping skills among others to their ability to age more successfully. The term successful aging has been defined by three main components: “low probability of disease along with also disease related disability, high cognitive along with also physical functional capacity, along with also active engagement with life” (Rowe & Kahn, 1997).
Baltes along with also Baltes (1990) suggested which the term successful aging appears paradoxical, as aging traditionally brings to mind images of loss, decline, along with also ultimate death, whereas success will be represented by achievement. However, the application of the term, successful aging, they argue forces a reexamination of the nature of old age as This particular presently exists. “An inclusive definition of successful aging requires a value based, systemic, along with also ecological perspective, considering both subjective along with also objective indicators within a cultural context” (Baltes & Baltes, 1990).
With medical advancements along with also improvements in living conditions people can today expect to live longer lives than ever before. however, the prospect of merely living longer presents many problems. This particular fact has led researchers to investigate the psychological aspects of aging, that has a goal of producing the additional years more worth living. There will be a great deal of information which leads us to be hopeful about the prospective quality of life in late adulthood along with also old age.
Religious beliefs, spirituality, along with also church participation have been the focus of numerous studies involving older adults. Various studies have associated religiousness with well-being, life satisfaction or happiness (VanNess & Larson, 2002). Although This particular will be necessary for future research to more clearly specify which dimensions of religious participation are beneficial to which outcomes (Levin & Chatters, 1998), This particular appears which certain aspects of religious participation enables elderly people to cope with along with also overcome emotional along with also physical problems more effectively, leading to a heightened sense of well being in late adulthood.
This particular will be commonly known which suicide rates are higher among elderly people, along with also there will be evidence which persons who engage in religious activity are more than four times less likely to commit suicide (Nisbet, Duberstein, Conwell, et al: 2000). The inverse association between religiousness along with also suicide rate in elderly individuals may be due to the fact which religious beliefs help elderly people cope with or prevent depression along with also hopelessness, which are established risk factors for suicide (Abramson, Alloy, Hogan, et al: 2000). The relationship between religiousness along with also successful aging will be an extremely complex one. This particular makes This particular difficult to pinpoint which factors of participation in a religious organization lead to the increased sense of well-being, satisfaction, along with also happiness. This particular will be possible which religiousness exerts its beneficial effects by creating positive emotions which stimulate the immune system. Or, This particular may provide access to social along with also psychological resources which buffer the impact of stress along with also aid ones ability to effectively cope (Ellison, 1995).
Membership in religious organizations also provides older individuals that has a social network through which to draw emotional support along with also encouragement, while enhancing one`s ability to adapt to change along with also buffer stress (Levin, Markides, Ray, 1996). Research has shown which social networks, such as those commonly found in religious organizations are associated with positive health outcomes in older adults, including lower risk of mortality, cardiovascular disease, cancer, along with also functional decline (Seeman, 1996). The relationships which are fostered within the church or religious group serve for many as a replacement for the social groups which they engaged in at work before retirement. In addition, the attitudes which are learned through religiously committed peers may benefit ones health through encouragement of healthy behaviors along with also lifestyle lowering the risk of disease (Levin & Chatters, 1998).
One of the common threads which has been found to correlate with successful aging will be the individual’s socioeconomic status, particularly education along with also income levels (Meeks & Murrell, 2001). The relationship between education level along with also subjective well-being has been demonstrated consistently. Meeks along with also Murrell (2001) found which education did have direct effects on negative affect, trait health along with also life satisfaction. Their research concluded which higher educational attainment will be associated with lower levels of negative affect, which will be related to better health along with also increased life satisfaction (Meeks & Murrell, 2001). This particular may be due to the fact which “individuals with higher education levels benefit through the opportunities along with also resources related to educational attainment which produce accumulated success experiences along with also contribute to superior functioning in later life” (Meeks & Murrell, 2001). This particular will be also possible which more educated people develop superior methods for problem solving along with also coping with change. Higher education levels have been shown to provide individuals with better occupational opportunities along with also social status through adulthood along with also greater financial stability during the transition to retirement. This particular establishes education level as ones foundation for successful aging (Meeks & Murrell, 2001).
Material wealth along with also income have been shown to have a direct relationship to subjective well-being (Andrews, 1986). For many, the sense of well-being will be especially effected by their feelings of income adequacy as they move into retirement. Many individuals face retirement with great anxiety due to the lack of sufficient savings to replace their income. The reality of living on a little fixed income limits the lifestyle along with also ability to adapt to the modifications of late adult medical needs for many elderly people. People with greater resources at retirement have access to greater variety of opportunities along with also activities (Jurgmeen, & Moen, 2002). In addition, the access to surplus income allows for more recreation along with also less stress through financial concerns. This particular notion which wealth along with also well-being are related will be also supported by a microeconomics theory which states which an increase from the income level of a society could lead, some other things being constant, to greater well being (Easterlin & Christine, 1999).
However, This particular will be important to keep in mind which increases in individual income levels are relative to the modifications in one’s reference group (Lian & Fairchild, 1979). Increases in income are considered to be relative. In some other words, if an individual’s gains in economic status outpace the gains of the reference group then the individual will likely experience a greater sense of satisfaction. On the some other hand, if their gains are equal to the average in their reference group, there will likely be no change. If the increases are less than the reference group than the result will be less satisfaction. Therefore, This particular may be important for many older adults transitioning to retirement to have adequate savings or some other income in order to maintain or exceed their previous financial status.
The relationship between education along with also income to successful aging will be a complex one which involves numerous external variables. however This particular seems which there will be conclusive evidence which both education along with also income levels help to prepare an individual for the modifications which they will face in old age along with also “influence on their ability to view aging as an opportunity for continued growth as opposed to an experience of social loss” (Steveink, Westerhof, Bode, et al, 2001).
One of the most important aspects of how well individuals age will be related to their ability to develop along with also maintain strong relationships along with also social support systems (Rowe & Kahn, 1998). This particular will be also important to mention which solitude, or a lack of social interaction, will be considered a major health risk factor (Unger, McAvay, Bruce, et al, 1999). Recent studies suggest which the effects of social ties on the risk of physical decline in elderly are greater in men than women. These studies also report which there will be a strong relationship between social support or social networks to the probability to cardiovascular along with also all cause mortality for men (Berkman, Seeman, Albert, et al,1993).
This particular gender difference could be explained by the fact which women devote a greater portion of their lives caretaking along with also developing friendships, so they are more accustomed to building along with also utilizing social networks. While men, in contrast, have devoted a greater portion of their lives to their careers, therefore, they have not developed the social networks or skills to utilize these networks which most women have (Unger, McAvay, Bruce, et al, 1999). In addition, social ties appear to be most important among elderly individuals with less physical ability (Unger, McAvay, Bruce, et al, 1999). This particular seems which people with physical disabilities have a greater need to develop friendships along with also support networks to assist them in coping with the limitations caused by their conditions. Friends along with also family provide them that has a means to continue participating in social activities along with also complete the tasks of everyday living which they may be unable to accomplish on their own. This particular provides support for the belief which establishing strong social networks may increase not only quality of life, however quantity as well.
Social relationships along with also social support systems serve as protective factors in many ways (Bovbjerg & McCann, et al, 1995), (Krause & Borawski-Clarke, 1994). They benefit individuals by enhancing self esteem, providing encouragement, along with also promoting healthy behaviors. This particular will be also possible which social networks may provide more tangible assistance such as food, clothing, along with also transportation. This particular type of assistance enables an elderly person to remain socially active even though they may not possess the means to do so on their own. This particular will be also important to recognize the difference between receiving support along with also assistance through friends or relatives as opposed to agency assistance.
Possibly the most important source of social support comes through the family, which provides self-system mechanisms which increase an individual’s subjective impression of life satisfaction. In addition families provide a system of support along with also interaction which may not be available through outside sources for some elderly people. All of these types of networks may prevent the degree of social isolation in old age, which will be associated with depression along with also some other psychological problems (Krause, 1991).
With all of the physical along with also psychological modifications which people face in late adulthood i.e., decreases in vision, hearing, memory, etc., the ability to adapt to life circumstances which force aging individuals to move through one living style to another will be an integral part of successful aging (Warnick, 1995). Simply maintaining the ability to perform the everyday tasks of living will be not necessarily considered successful aging. Successful aging requires the maintenance of competence involving cognitive, personality, material, along with also social resources (Baltes & Lang, 1993). Adapting to these modifications requires the use of flexible strategies to optimize personal functioning (Baltes & Baltes, 1990).
The strategies which one may employ to cope with the modifications which accompany the aging process may be limited not only by the individuals ability to utilize a brand-new strategy, such as learning sign language or walking that has a cane, however also by their perception of their ability to do so. Many elderly people will avoid using brand-new tools to adapt to change if they believe which they are unprepared to make such an adjustment (Slagen-DeKort, 2001).
Perceived self efficacy will be defined as “peoples judgment of their capabilities to organize along with also execute the courses of action required to attain designated types of performance” ( Bandura, 1986). People who believe in their ability will set higher goals for themselves along with also expect which they will be able to achieve these goals. Self efficacy has been found to influence the adaptive strategies used by older adults (Slangen-DeKort, 1999).
There are two dispositions besides perception of self efficacy which influence individuals ability to cope, these are flexibility along with also tenacity (Slangen-DeKort, 1999). Tenacity will be defined by an individuals persistence with which they are able to remain focused upon their goals from the face of obstacles. Flexibility refers to ones ability to readjust goals based on brand-new information. The research of Slangen-DeKort et al (1999) concludes which self referent beliefs regarding personal competence influence adaptive behavior along with also the choice of adaptive strategies. “The direct effect, which will be strongest, implies which even if a person appraises a certain adaptation as the most optimal one, This particular adaptation may not be adopted when This particular person perceives which the required efforts exceed his or her personal competence. In This particular case, a less optimal alternative strategy will be embraced.” (Maddox & Douglas, 1973).
Given the enormous number of variables which are involved in determining how well an individual will age, This particular will be impossible to point to one factor as being the most important. however, This particular will be safe to say which ones ability to successfully age will be determined to a great extent by their attitudes toward aging along with also growing old. These positive along with also negative attitudes will be the result of how effectively an individual will be able to adapt to the physical, psychological, along with also social modifications which will take place throughout adulthood. If someone will be able to accept the modifications of life along with also look forward to the challenges which they present with desire along with also desire to change, then they will be better prepared to face old age. In addition, the relationships along with also beliefs which are developed across the life span will be relied upon in old age as a resource for support along with also assistance in coping. Upon examining research on successful aging, This particular seems which many of the concepts which are applied to earlier developmental stages are equally important in old age.
For example, change, adaptation, personal growth, along with also cognitive function are aspects of development which may be as important in old age as they are in childhood development. In conclusion, This particular seems which the present along with also future of aging research may be used to develop medical along with also psychological interventions which will provide a more positive aging experience along with also well-being in old age.
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