Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hearing loss affects old people's personality

31.03.2014

As people approach old age, they generally become less outgoing. New research from the University of Gothenburg shows that this change in personality is amplified among people with impaired hearing. The findings emphasise the importance of acknowledging and treating hearing loss in the elderly population.

The researchers studied 400 individuals 80-98 years old over a six-year period. Every two years, the subjects were assessed in terms of physical and mental measures as well as personality aspects such as extraversion, which reflects the inclination to be outgoing, and emotional stability.

The results show that even if the emotional stability remained constant over the period, the participants became less outgoing.

Interestingly, the researchers were not able to connect the observed changes to physical and cognitive impairments or to age-related difficulties finding social activities. The only factor that could be linked to reduced extraversion was hearing loss.

‘To our knowledge, this is the first time a link between hearing and personality changes has been established in longitudinal studies. Surprisingly, we did not find that declining overall health and functional capacity make people less outgoing.

But hearing loss directly affects the quality of social situations. If the perceived quality of social interaction goes down, it may eventually affect whether and how we relate to others,’ says Anne Ingeborg Berg, PhD, licensed psychologist and researcher at the Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg.

The study yields interesting knowledge about personality development late in life, and also points to the importance of acknowledging and treating hearing loss among the elderly.

The utilisation of hearing aids did not affect the correlation found, which suggests that there is a need for support in the use of aids such as hearing devices.

‘Our previous studies have shown that outgoing individuals are happier with their lives. It is hypothesised that an outgoing personality reflects a positive approach to life, but it also probably shows how important it is for most people to share both joy and sadness with others.

Even if we can’t conclude anything about causal relationships, we can guess that the link between hearing loss and social withdrawal forms a potential threat to older people’s wellbeing,’ says Berg.

The study, conducted by Anne Ingeborg Berg and Boo Johansson from the ADA - Gero Group, Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, was published in February 2014 in Journal of Personality.

Contact: Anne Ingeborg Berg, +46 (0)31 786 5941, +46 (0)733 92 72 77, anne.berg@psy.gu.se

Weitere Informationen:

http://psy.gu.se/english/current/news/newsdetail//hearing-loss-affects-old-peopl...

Ann-Sofie Sten | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht First national study finds trees saving lives, reducing respiratory problems
28.07.2014 | USDA Forest Service - Northern Research Station

nachricht Kidney transplant drug halves the early risk of rejection and allows less toxic treatment
28.07.2014 | University of Oxford

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

9th European Wood-Based Panel Symposium 2014 – meeting point for the wood-based material branch

24.07.2014 | Event News

“Lens on Life” - Artists and Scientists Explore Cell Divison

08.07.2014 | Event News

First International Conference on Consumer Research | ICCR 2014: Early bird deadline July 31, 2014

08.07.2014 | Event News

 
Latest News

First national study finds trees saving lives, reducing respiratory problems

28.07.2014 | Health and Medicine

Kidney transplant drug halves the early risk of rejection and allows less toxic treatment

28.07.2014 | Health and Medicine

Climate change and air pollution will combine to curb food supplies

28.07.2014 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>