266212 Characteristics of older adults with positive attitudes toward aging

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 8:54 AM - 9:06 AM

Richard T. Pulice, PhD, MPH , Department of Social Work and The Institute for Community Research and Training, The College of Saint Rose, Albany, NY
Nancy Dorr, Ph.D. , Institute for Community Research and Training and Department of Psychology, The College of Saint Rose, Albany, NY
Simone Westerman , Institute of Community Research and Training, The College of Saint Rose, Albany, NY
Self-perception of aging predicts mortality, with older adults possessing positive attitudes toward aging living an average of 7.5 years longer than their peers (Levey, Slade, Kunkel, & Kasl, 2002). To examine additional facets of attitudes toward aging, the present study examined the extent to which perceptions of internal control of health, trust in primary care physician, well-being, and interest in attending health promotion programs predict positive attitudes toward aging. One hundred and sixty-three older adults (60+) completed scales assessing health locus of control (Bundek et al., 1993), trust in physician (Anderson & Dedrick, 1990), well-being (World Health Organization, 1998), attitudes toward aging (Laidlaw et al., 2007), interest in attending health promotion programs, self-perceived health (Ware et al., 2002), chronic illness (Jang, Poon, Kim, & Shin, 2004), and age. Hierarchical multiple regressions were conducted. The control variables (age, self-perceived health, and chronic illness) accounted for 37% of the variability in attitudes toward physical change, F(3,138)=28.75, p<.001; the psychological variables explained an additional 11%, F(4,134)=7.59, p<.001. Internal control of health, higher perceptions of well-being, more interest in health promotion programs, higher perceptions of health, and younger age were significant predictors of positive attitudes toward physical change, ps<.05. The regression of older adults' attitudes toward psychological growth as a result of aging showed well-being and self-perceived health were significant predictors of this aspect of attitudes toward aging, ps<.05. Results suggest that programs targeting the health of older adults may benefit from increasing perceptions of control over health and expanding health promotion programs.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe correlates of positive attitudes toward aging

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the director of the Institute of Community Research and Training at the College of Saint Rose and one portion of the Institute conducts research on aging
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.