Aging brings a sense of peace and calm, according to a new study from the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin. Starting at about age 60, participants reported more feelings of ease and contentment than their younger counterparts.
Catherine Ross and John Mirowsky, professors of sociology, have published the findings in “Age and the Balance of Emotions” in the May 19 issue of Social Science and Medicine. The research was funded in part by the National Institute on Aging.
The findings reveal aging is associated with more positive than negative emotions, and more passive than active emotions, Ross said.
Previous research on emotions associated with aging focused on negative emotions, such as depression. However, a second dimension underlying emotions is an active versus passive dimension, which is less studied, but may be important in explaining how emotions shift as people age, according to the researchers.
“The passive/positive combination reveals that contentment, calm and ease are some of the most common emotions people feel as they age,” Ross said. “Emotions that are both active and negative, such as anxiety and anger, are especially unlikely among the elderly.”
The study examined 1,450 responses to the 1996 U.S. General Social Survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center, which included English-speaking people aged 18 and older. The gender distribution of the sample was 56 percent female and 44 percent male, and the racial distribution was 81 percent white, 14 percent African American and 5 percent other races.
Participants responded to statements such as “On how many days in the past seven days have you...felt that you couldn’t shake the blues, felt sad, felt lonely, felt anxious and tense, felt worried, felt so restless that you couldn’t sit long in a chair, felt angry at someone, felt mad at someone, felt outraged at something somebody had done, felt calm, felt at ease, felt contented, felt happy, felt overjoyed by something, felt excited about or interested in something, felt proud, felt embarrassed, felt ashamed.”
The researchers then grouped the emotions in four categories: active, passive, positive and negative.
Secondary findings reveal women had more negative than positive emotions, and more passive than active emotions than men. Also, participants with higher income and education levels had significantly more positive emotions than those with lower income and education levels.
Catherine Ross | EurekAlert!
New measure for the wellbeing of populations could replace Human Development Index
07.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Because not only arguments count
30.10.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)
For the first time, an international team of scientists based in Regensburg, Germany, has recorded the orbitals of single molecules in different charge states in a novel type of microscopy. The research findings are published under the title “Mapping orbital changes upon electron transfer with tunneling microscopy on insulators” in the prestigious journal “Nature”.
The building blocks of matter surrounding us are atoms and molecules. The properties of that matter, however, are often not set by these building blocks...
Scientists at the University of Konstanz identify fierce competition between the human immune system and bacterial pathogens
Cell biologists from the University of Konstanz shed light on a recent evolutionary process in the human immune system and publish their findings in the...
Laser physicists have taken snapshots of carbon molecules C₆₀ showing how they transform in intense infrared light
When carbon molecules C₆₀ are exposed to an intense infrared light, they change their ball-like structure to a more elongated version. This has now been...
The so-called Abelian sandpile model has been studied by scientists for more than 30 years to better understand a physical phenomenon called self-organized...
Physicists from the University of Basel have developed a new method to examine the elasticity and binding properties of DNA molecules on a surface at extremely low temperatures. With a combination of cryo-force spectroscopy and computer simulations, they were able to show that DNA molecules behave like a chain of small coil springs. The researchers reported their findings in Nature Communications.
DNA is not only a popular research topic because it contains the blueprint for life – it can also be used to produce tiny components for technical applications.
11.02.2019 | Event News
30.01.2019 | Event News
16.01.2019 | Event News
15.02.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
15.02.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
15.02.2019 | Life Sciences