224556 Positive attitudes and social activities among post-menopausal women: Determinants of successful aging through the 60s, 70s, and 80s

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 3:15 PM - 3:30 PM

Matthew Lee Smith, PhD, MPH, CHES , School of Rural Public Health, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College Station, TX
Angelica P. Herrera, DrPH , Division of Geriatric Psychiatry / Stein Institute for Research on Aging, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA
SangNam Ahn, PhD, MPSA , Division of Health Systems Management and Policy, The University of Memphis School of Public Health, Memphis, TN
Marcia G. Ory, PhD, MPH , Social & Behavioral Health, Texas A&M HSC School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
As women age, levels and types of social engagement during free-time may differ from decade to decade. Positive life attitudes and a variety of social interactions can influence perceptions of successful aging. The purposes of this study are to: (1) identify the types of social behaviors engaged in by older women in California; (2) examine the intrapersonal and interpersonal factors associated with high levels of self-perceived successful aging; and (3) describe the differences in correlates to successful aging between women in their 60s, 70s, and 80s. Data were collected from a sample of 1,806 community dwelling post-menopausal women age 60 and older who participated in the San Diego site of the Women's Health Initiative study. Study variables include: sociodemographics, health indicators, positive life perceptions, social behaviors, and measures of successful aging. Logistic regression analyses were performed to compare intrapersonal and interpersonal variables associated with women's perceptions of successful aging. The average age of study participants was 73.2 years (SD=7.10). Women perceiving themselves to be successfully aging were significantly more likely to be in their 80s relative to those in their 60s (OR=2.65); of better general health (OR=7.80); have higher levels of optimism (OR=1.02) and morale (OR=1.04); travel more than once per year (OR=1.39); engage in paid work (OR=1.64); and be sexually active (OR=2.49). Notable differences in determinants of successful aging were identified between women of different age decades. Encouraging positive life perspectives and engaging seniors in social activities where they live, work, and play can promote positive aging.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify types of social activities engaged in by post-menopausal women residing in San Diego, California 2. Assess the sociodemographics, health indicators, positive life perceptions, social behaviors factors associated with high levels of self-perceived successful aging among older women 3. Describe the differing determinants of successful aging for post-menopausal women in their 60s, 70s, and 80s

Keywords: Aging, Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have worked on statewide and national evaluations for evidence-based programs for older adults.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.