Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Negative stereotypes about aging may shorten your life by affecting will to live

29.07.2002


Positve self-perceptions of aging may influence longevity more than other health factors

Even if we are not aware of them, negative thoughts about aging that we pick up from society may be cutting years off our lives, according to Becca Levy, Ph.D., the lead researcher of a study conducted at Yale University’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health. The study found that older people with more positive self-perceptions of aging, measured up to 23 years earlier, lived 7.5 years longer than those with less positive self-perceptions of aging. The findings appear in the August issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA).

The 7.5 year higher longevity for those with the more positive attitudes toward aging remained even after other factors were taken into account, including age, gender, socioeconomic status, loneliness and overall health. "The effect of more positive self-perceptions of aging on survival is greater than the physiological measures of low systolic blood pressure and cholesterol, each of which is associated with a longer lifespan of four years or less," said the study authors. "It is also greater than the independent contributions of lower body mass index, no history of smoking, and a tendency to exercise, each of these factors has been found to contribute between one and three years of added life."



Using information from 660 participants aged 50 and older from a small town in Ohio who were part of the Ohio Longitudinal Study of Aging and Retirement (OLSAR), Dr. Levy and her co-authors, Martin D. Slade, MPH and Stanislav V. Kasl, Ph.D., of Yale University and Suzanne Kunkel, Ph.D., of Miami University of Ohio, compared mortality rates to responses made 23 years earlier by the participants (338 men and 322 women). The responses included agreeing or disagreeing with such statements as "As you get older, you are less useful."

In the same study, the researchers also find that the will to live partially accounts for the relationship between positive self-perceptions of aging and survival, but does not completely account for difference in longevity. Another factor likely involved, according to the researchers, is cardiovascular response to stress, which Dr. Levy’s earlier research has shown can be adversely affected when elderly persons are exposed to negative stereotypes of aging.

These negative views of aging can operate without older people’s awareness, say the researchers, because they are thought to be internalized in childhood and unlikely to be consciously evaluated as we get older.

"Our study carries two messages. The discouraging one is that negative self-perceptions can diminish life expectancy; the encouraging one is that positive self-perceptions can prolong life expectancy," say the authors.


Article: "Longevity Increased by Positive Self-Perceptions of Aging," Becca R. Levy and Martin D. Slade, Yale University, Suzanne Kunkel, Miami University of Ohio, and Stanislav V. Kasl, Yale University; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 83, No. 2.

Full text of the article is available from the APA Public Affairs Office or at: http://www.apa.org/journals/psp/press_releases/august_2002/psp832261.html

Reporters: Lead author Becca R. Levy, Ph.D., can be reached at (203) 785-2869 or by e-mail at becca.levy@yale.edu.

The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world’s largest association of psychologists. APA’s membership includes more than 155,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 53 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting human welfare.

David Partenheimer | EurekAlert
Further information:
http://www.apa.org/journals/psp/press_releases/august_2002/psp832261.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>