How does it feel to be old in different societies?

August 28, 2014, University of Kent

People aged 70 and over who identify themselves as 'old' feel worse about their own health in societies where they perceive they have lower value than younger age groups.

New research from psychologists at the University of Kent, titled 'Being old and ill' across different countries: , age identification and older people's subjective health, used data from the European Social Survey. Respondents, who were all aged 70 and over, were asked to self-rate their health.

The researchers found that those living in societies where older people have lower status were more likely to have a negative subjective view of their health if they identified themselves as 'old'. However, identifying as an was not associated with subjective health in societies where older people have higher status.

The results highlighted that in countries where old age is perceived as signifying low status, identifying strongly with old age is related to worse subjective health.

The study could have major implications for policy-makers across Europe, where the elevation of the perceived social status of would be likely to reduce associated with old age, ensuring that identifying as 'old' would not impact negatively on how healthy people felt.

Explore further: Subjective poverty massively affects older people's health

More information: Being old and ill' across different countries: social status, age identification and older people's subjective health is published in the journal Psychology and Health. See: www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/1 … .938742#.U_8RqcVdWSo

Related Stories

Subjective poverty massively affects older people's health

February 21, 2014
Being objectively low income leads to poor health and a shorter life. This much we already knew. But poverty can also be a matter of subjectively feeling poor. WZB economist Maja Adena and her colleague Michal Myck (DIW ...

One in three older people experience age discrimination

November 6, 2013
New research from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) reveals 33 per cent of all older people experience perceived age discrimination, with less wealthy older men being at highest risk.

Immigration status impacts health, especially for the young

December 11, 2013
Age at immigration and citizenship status may have health implications for immigrants, finds a new study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Brief memory test 'ages' older adults

October 15, 2013
You're only as old as you feel, or so the saying goes. Now, research suggests that a simple memory test can have a noticeable impact on just how old some older adults feel, aging them about five years in the span of five ...

US health care: Does more spending yield better health?

May 22, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Health care spending is much higher for older Americans than for younger adults and children, on average, and analysts have said that increasing spending leads to longer life expectancy.

Poor hearing confines older adults to their homes

August 6, 2014
Vision and hearing problems reduce the active participation of older people in various events and activities. This was observed in two studies carried out by the Gerontology Research Center.

Recommended for you

Self-perception and reality seem to line-up when it comes to judging our own personality

December 14, 2018
When it comes to self-assessment, new U of T research suggests that maybe we do have a pretty good handle on our own personalities after all.

Levels of gene-expression-regulating enzyme altered in brains of people with schizophrenia

December 14, 2018
A study using a PET scan tracer developed at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has identified, for the first time, epigenetic differences between the brains of individuals ...

Researchers discover abundant source for neuronal cells

December 13, 2018
USC researchers seeking a way to study genetic activity associated with psychiatric disorders have discovered an abundant source of human cells—the nose.

Video game players frequently exposed to graphic content may see world differently

December 13, 2018
People who frequently play violent video games are more immune to disturbing images than non-players, a UNSW-led study into the phenomenon of emotion-induced blindness has shown.

New genetic clues to early-onset form of dementia

December 13, 2018
Unlike the more common Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia tends to afflict young people. It accounts for an estimated 20 percent of all cases of early-onset dementia. Patients with the illness typically begin to ...

How teens deal with stress may affect their blood pressure, immune system

December 13, 2018
Most teens get stressed out by their families from time to time, but whether they bottle those emotions up or put a positive spin on things may affect certain processes in the body, including blood pressure and how immune ...

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.