Thinking you're old and frail

April 9, 2013

Older adults who categorise themselves as old and frail encourage attitudinal and behavioural confirmation of that identity.

This is the conclusion of a study conducted by Krystal Warmoth and colleagues at University of Exeter Medical School, which is being presented today, 9th April 2013, at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference in Harrogate, UK.

Krystal Warmoth interviewed 29 in the South West of England face-to-face. Interviews conducted asked about their experiences of ageing and frailty. Self-perception and identification related to one's health and participation in an active life. One's attitude could lead to a loss of interest in participating in social and physical activities, , , and reduced quality of life. One respondent stated it clearly, "if people think that they are old and frail, they will act like they're old and frail". A cycle of decline was also described whereby perceiving oneself as frail was felt to lead to disengaging in activities that could reduce the likelihood of frailty (such as, ) and, in turn, more health and functioning problems.

Krystal Warmoth concluded that: "this study gives insight into the role of social psychological factors in older adults' health and activity".

Related Stories

Fitness and frailty in adults linked to health outcomes

April 26, 2011

The prevalence of frailty, which is linked to earlier death, increases throughout adulthood as people age and not just after age 65, found an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). Relatively good fitness ...

Even the very elderly and frail can benefit from exercise

September 6, 2012

A study carried out by Dr. Louis Bherer, PhD (Psychology), Laboratory Director and Researcher at the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal (IUGM), an institution affiliated with Université de Montréal, has shown ...

Recommended for you

Neural efficiency hypothesis confirmed

July 27, 2015

One of the big questions intelligence researchers grapple with is just how differences in intelligence are reflected in the human brain. Researchers at ETH Zurich have succeeded in studying further details relating to suspected ...

How does color blindness affect color preferences?

July 21, 2015

(Medical Xpress)—Dichromacy is a color vision defect in which one of the three types of cone photoreceptors is missing. The condition is hereditary and sex-linked, mostly affecting males. Although researchers have explored ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.