Title

Socializing More Linked with Better Aging Attitudes

Poster Number

15C

Lead Author Major

Psychology

Lead Author Status

Senior

Second Author Major

Psychology, Spanish (Lit. and Lang.)

Second Author Status

Senior

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Carla Strickland-Hughes

Faculty Mentor Email

cstricklandhughes@pacific.edu

Faculty Mentor Department

Psychology

Abstract/Artist Statement

Social engagement in late life is critical for healthy aging (Jopp & Hertzog, 2010), but motives and goals that direct activity choices change across adulthood. Socioemotional Selectivity Theory (Carstensen, 2006) posits older adults may emphasize present-related goals, such as strengthening emotional connections, because they perceive their futures to be limited. Similarly, generativity increases in aging (Erikson, 1950), so older adults are motivated to “give back” to younger generations and the community. Despite these positive changes, older adults report negative attitudes about old age in general and about their own aging (Strickland-Hughes et al., 2016). Research shows that intergenerational social engagement may improve aging attitudes in early life (Gaggioli et al. 2014), but the benefits to attitudes of older persons is less clear. Our aim was to test the relationships between social engagement and aging beliefs in middle-aged and older adults. Thirty-two participants (56-86 years old, M=74.75, SD=7.56; 88% white; 88% female) volunteered for our correlational study. We operationalized intergenerational social engagement by participation in 3-4 hours of discussion groups with undergraduates. Participants self-reported frequency and quality of contact with younger adults, and their frequency of engagement in public and private social activities (Jopp & Hertzog, 2010). Additionally, participants completed surveys assessing their general attitudes about old age, aging satisfaction, and awareness of age-related gains and losses in their lives. Overall, we expected greater social engagement to be related to more positive and less negative aging beliefs. Consistent with expectations, analyses suggested that more social interaction correlated with awareness of more age-related gains. Reports of more frequent and better quality interactions with younger adults correlated with feeling closer and more connected with younger adults (r = .405, p = .021). Our findings indicate that an actively social lifestyle may contribute to being more conscious of gains in aging.

Location

DeRosa University Center Ballroom

Start Date

27-4-2018 12:30 PM

End Date

27-4-2018 2:30 PM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 27th, 12:30 PM Apr 27th, 2:30 PM

Socializing More Linked with Better Aging Attitudes

DeRosa University Center Ballroom

Social engagement in late life is critical for healthy aging (Jopp & Hertzog, 2010), but motives and goals that direct activity choices change across adulthood. Socioemotional Selectivity Theory (Carstensen, 2006) posits older adults may emphasize present-related goals, such as strengthening emotional connections, because they perceive their futures to be limited. Similarly, generativity increases in aging (Erikson, 1950), so older adults are motivated to “give back” to younger generations and the community. Despite these positive changes, older adults report negative attitudes about old age in general and about their own aging (Strickland-Hughes et al., 2016). Research shows that intergenerational social engagement may improve aging attitudes in early life (Gaggioli et al. 2014), but the benefits to attitudes of older persons is less clear. Our aim was to test the relationships between social engagement and aging beliefs in middle-aged and older adults. Thirty-two participants (56-86 years old, M=74.75, SD=7.56; 88% white; 88% female) volunteered for our correlational study. We operationalized intergenerational social engagement by participation in 3-4 hours of discussion groups with undergraduates. Participants self-reported frequency and quality of contact with younger adults, and their frequency of engagement in public and private social activities (Jopp & Hertzog, 2010). Additionally, participants completed surveys assessing their general attitudes about old age, aging satisfaction, and awareness of age-related gains and losses in their lives. Overall, we expected greater social engagement to be related to more positive and less negative aging beliefs. Consistent with expectations, analyses suggested that more social interaction correlated with awareness of more age-related gains. Reports of more frequent and better quality interactions with younger adults correlated with feeling closer and more connected with younger adults (r = .405, p = .021). Our findings indicate that an actively social lifestyle may contribute to being more conscious of gains in aging.