We take a biopsychosocial perspective on age-related diseases by examining
psychological correlates of having multiple chronic conditions and determining whether
positive psychological functioning predicts advantageous profiles of biological risk
Respondents to the national survey of Midlife in the United States who participated in
clinical assessments of health and biological processes (n =
998) provided information on chronic medical conditions and multiple domains of
psychological functioning. Serum concentrations of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive
protein (CRP) were determined from fasting blood samples.
Life satisfaction declined with increasing comorbidity while negative affect increased.
In contrast, positive affect, purpose in life, and positive relations with others were
unrelated to comorbidity status. Significant interactions showed that although IL-6 and
CRP increased with increasing number of chronic conditions, respondents with higher
levels of purpose in life, positive relations with others, and (in the case of CRP)
positive affect had lower levels of inflammation compared with those with lower
The results suggest that many older adults with medical comorbidities maintain high
levels of positive psychological functioning that are in turn linked to better profiles
of biological disease risk.
Chronic conditions; Inflammation; Successful aging; Well-being;
Although personality is relatively stable over time, there are individual differences
in the patterns and magnitude of change. There is some evidence that personality change
in adulthood is related to physical health and longevity. The present study expanded
this work to consider whether personality stability or change would be associated with
better cognitive functioning, especially in later adulthood.
A total of 4,974 individuals participated in two waves of The Midlife in the United
States Study (MIDUS) in 1994–1995 and 2004–2005. Participants completed the
MIDUS personality inventory at both times and the Brief Test of Adult Cognition by
Telephone cognitive battery at Time 2.
Multiple regression and analysis of covariance analyses showed that, consistent with
predictions, individuals remaining stable in openness to experience and neuroticism had
faster reaction times and better inductive reasoning than those who changed. Among older
adults, those who remained stable or decreased in neuroticism had significantly faster
reaction times than those who increased.
As predicted, personality stability on some traits was associated with more adaptive
cognitive performance on reasoning and reaction time. Personality is discussed as a
possible resource for protecting against or minimizing age-related declines in
Aging; Cognitive performance; Personality change
Prior research found age invariance in accuracy of delayed judgments of learning
accuracy (Eakin, D. K., & Hertzog, C. . Release from implicit interference in
memory and metamemory: Older adults know that they can’t let go. The
Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social
Sciences, 61, 340–347). We tested whether aging affects accuracy of
feeling of knowing (FOK) predictions under implicit interference. Discrepancies in the
literature suggest that FOKs sometimes are and sometimes are not affected by aging. In
addition, because the effects of implicit interference are different on recognition than
on recall, older adults may have difficulty ignoring the impact of interference on
recall in order to accurately predict the lack of interference effects on
Younger and older adults studied cue-target pairs and cue set size varied. After a cued
recall test, they made FOKs about future recognition of the target given the cue and
then took a recognition test.
Neither younger nor older adults were able to predict recognition of unrecalled items.
FOKs were more correlated with recall than with recognition for both age groups.
Although both recall and recognition varied with age, no age differences were obtained
in FOK accuracy.
FOK accuracy was not impaired with age, even when memory was. FOKs of both younger and
older adults reflected implicit interference effects in recall, not recognition.
Associate set size; Feeling of knowing; Interference; Metamemory
Individuals’ perceptions of their own age(ing) are important correlates of
well-being and health. The goals of the present study were to (a) examine indicators of
self-perceptions of aging across adulthood and (b) experimentally test whether age
stereotypes influence self-perceptions of aging.
Adults 18–92 years of age were presented with positive, negative, or no age
stereotypes. Before and after the stereotype activation, aging satisfaction and
subjective age were measured.
The activation of positive age stereotypes did not positively influence
self-perceptions of aging. Quite the contrary, priming middle-aged and older adults in
good health with positive age stereotypes made them feel older. After the activation of
negative age stereotypes, older adults in good health felt older and those in bad health
wanted to be younger than before the priming. Even younger and middle-aged adults
reported younger desired ages after the negative age stereotype priming. Persons in bad
health also thought they looked older after being primed with negative age
Taken together, although we find some support for contrast effects, most of our results
can be interpreted in terms of assimilation effects, suggesting that individuals
integrate stereotypical information into their self-evaluations of age(ing) when
confronted with stereotypes.
Age stereotypes; Aging satisfaction; Labeling theory; Resilience theory; Self-perceptions of aging; Social comparison; Subjective age
Among adults, slower and more variable reaction times are associated with worse
cognitive function and increased mortality risk. Therefore, it is important to elucidate
risk factors for reaction time change over the life course.
Data from the Health and Lifestyle Survey (HALS) were used to examine predictors of
7-year decline in reaction time (N = 4,260). Regression-derived
factor scores were used to summarize general change across 4 reaction time variables:
simple mean, 4-choice mean, simple variability, and 4-choice variability (53.52% of
Age (B = .02, p < .001) and HALS1 baseline
reaction time (B = −.10, p = .001)
were significant risk factors for males (N = 1,899). In addition
to these variables, in females (N = 2,361), neuroticism was
significant and interacted synergistically with baseline reaction time
(B = .06, p = .04). Adjustment for
physiological variables explained the interaction with neuroticism, suggesting that
candidate mechanisms had been identified.
A priority for future research is to replicate interactions between personality and
reaction time in other samples and find specific mechanisms. Stratification of
population data on cognitive health by personality and reaction time could improve
strategies for identifying those at greater risk of cognitive decline.
Cognition; Life course and developmental change; Neuroticism; Personality
This study explores the reasons for gender differences in self-reported physical limitation among older adults in Ismailia, Egypt.
435 women and 448 men, 50 years and older in Ismailia, Egypt, participated in a social survey and tests of physical performance. Ordered logit models were estimated to compare unadjusted gender differences in reported disability with these differences adjusted sequentially for (a) age and objective measures of physical performance, (b) self-reported morbidities and health care use, and (c) social and economic attributes.
Compared with men, women more often reported higher levels of limitation in activities of daily living (ADLs), upper-extremity range of motion (ROM), and lower-extremity gross mobility (GM). Adjusting for age and objective measures of physical performance, women and men had similar odds of self-reporting difficulty with ADLs. With sequential adjustments for the remaining variables, women maintained significantly higher odds of self-reported difficulty with upper-extremity ROM and lower-extremity GM.
Cross-culturally, gender differences in self-reported disability may arise from objective and subjective perceptions of disability. Collectively, these results and those from prior studies in Bangladesh and the United States suggest that gender gaps in self-reported physical limitation may be associated with the degree of gender equality in society.
Self reported health; Physical limitation; Gender differences; Egypt.
To examine family caregiver involvement for long-term care (LTC) residents during the
last month of life. Researchers examined direct (personal care and meals) and indirect
(management and monitoring) types of caregiver involvement and the relationship between
the type of involvement and predisposing, enabling, and need characteristics.
Researchers also examined whether the frequency of involvement changed during the
end-of-life (EOL) period.
Researchers used an expanded version of Andersen’s Behavioral Model to
conceptualize predictors of family involvement for 438 residents in 125 residential
care/assisted living and nursing home settings. Bivariate and multivariate analyses
examined relationships among variables.
More than one-half of family caregivers monitored, managed care and assisted with
meals, and 40% assisted with personal care tasks. The enabling characteristic of days
visited and the need characteristic of caregiver role strain were related to each of the
4 types of involvement. However, the other correlates were distinct to the type of
Families are involved in EOL care in LTC settings. Higher role strain is related to
more involvement in each of the 4 types of involvement, suggesting that whether
involvement is by desire, perceived need, or both, there is cause to more critically
examine the family caregiver’s desired role and need for support.
Long-term care facilities; Family caregiver involvement; End of life.
To prospectively examine the relationship between body weight, frailty, and the
Longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study (1998–2006) were used to
examine the relationship between being underweight, overweight, or obese (compared with
normal weight) and the onset and progression of functional limitations and disabilities
in instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) and activities of daily living (ADL)
among a nationally representative sample of community-dwelling older adults (aged 50 and
older) with characteristics of frailty (n = 11,491).
Nonlinear multilevel models additionally adjusted for demographic characteristics and
intra-individual changes in body weight, socioeconomic status, health behaviors, and
health conditions over the course of 8 years.
Compared with their nonfrail normal weight counterparts, prefrail obese respondents
have a 16% (p ≤ 0.001) reduction in the expected functional limitations rate and
frail overweight and obese respondents have a 10% (p ≤ 0.01) and
36% (p ≤ 0.001) reduction in the expected functional limitations
rate, respectively. In addition, frail obese respondents have a 27% (p
≤ 0.05) reduction in the expected ADL disability rate.
This study’s findings suggest that underweight, overweight, and obese status
differentially affect the risk for functional limitations and disabilities in IADL and
ADL. Among prefrail and frail adults, some excess body weight in later life may be
beneficial, reducing the rate of functional limitations and disability.
Sarcopenia; Obesity; Disease
Studies of intergenerational relationship quality often include one or two generations.
This study examined within-family differences and similarities or transmission of
positive and negative relationship quality across three generations.
Participants included 633 middle-aged individuals (G2; 52% women, ages 40–60
years), 592 of their offspring (G3; 53% daughters; ages 18–41 years), and 337 of
their parents (i.e., grandparents; G1; 69% women; ages 59–96 years).
Multilevel models revealed differences and similarities in relationship quality across
generations. The oldest generation (G1) reported greater positive and less negative
quality relationships than the middle (G2) and the younger (G3) generations. There was
limited evidence of transmission. Middle-aged respondents who reported more positive and
less negative ties with their parents (G1) reported more positive and less negative ties
with their own children (G3). Grandmother (G1) reports of more positive relationship
quality were associated with G3 reports of more positive relationship quality with
Findings are consistent with the intergenerational stake hypothesis and only partially
consistent with the theory of intergenerational transmission. Overall, this study
suggests that there is greater within-family variability than similarities in how family
members feel about one another.
Children; Intergenerational relationship quality; Generation; parents
Drawing from cumulative inequality theory, this research examines how accumulated financial strain affects women’s self-rated health in middle and later life.
Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Mature Women (1967–2003), we employ random-coefficient growth curve models to examine whether recurring financial strain influences women’s health, above and beyond several measures of objective social status. Predicted probabilities of poor health were estimated by the frequency of financial strain.
Financial strain is associated with rapid declines in women’s health during middle and later life, especially for those women who reported recurrent strain. Changes in household income and household wealth were also associated with women’s health but did not eliminate the effects due to accumulated financial strain.
Accumulated financial strain has long-term effects on women’s health during middle and later life. The findings demonstrate the importance of measuring life course exposure to stressors in studies of health trajectories.
Cumulative advantage/disadvantage theory; Multi-level models; Economic hardship; Stress; Cumulative Inequality Theory; Life course.
The present study investigated patterns of self-reported driving habits among healthy
older adults over 5 years, as well as characteristics that distinguished subgroups with
Participants were drivers from the control group of the Advanced Cognitive Training for
Independent and Vital Elderly study at the baseline assessment (N
= 597). The outcome was a composite of driving frequency, driving space, and
perceived driving difficulty. Growth mixture models identified classes of participants
with different baseline scores and change trajectories, and classes were compared in
terms of baseline sensory, physical, and cognitive functioning.
A 3-class model was indicated, consisting of 2 classes with intercept differences and
stability over time, “above-average stable” (39%) and “average
stable” drivers (44%), and 1 class with a lower intercept and negative slope,
“decreasers” (17%). Relative to stable drivers, decreasers exhibited
significantly more depressive symptoms and poorer self-rated health, balance, everyday
functioning, and speed of processing after controlling for age and education
(p < .05).
The majority of older drivers maintained their driving over time at different levels,
whereas a subgroup of individuals with poorer baseline functioning self-regulated by
reducing their driving. Future studies should determine how such patterns affect driving
Driving mobility; Driving self-regulation; Growth mixture models; Older drivers
Typical measures of the useful field of view (UFOV) involve many components of
attention. The objective of the current research was to examine the attentional
operations that might underlie declines in the UFOV.
Method and Results.
We used 2 basic attention tasks to characterize the profile of visual attention in
UFOV-impaired and -unimpaired observers. Our results suggested that declines in the UFOV
result from a deficit in attentional disengagement, not a decrease in attentional
breadth or scope.
The results suggested that UFOV decline in normal aging can be associated with a
specific attentional operation, namely attentional disengagement. These results suggest
that the underlying cause of UFOV decline may not be a restriction in the breadth or
scope of attention. Because the UFOV is a reliable predictor of driving safety, our
results point to attentional components that are critical for the visual behavior of
Aging; Attention; Attentional disengagement; Cognitive decline; Useful field of view
We tested the hypothesis that aging is associated with an increase in the effort and
costs associated with cognitive activity using systolic blood pressure (SBP) as a
measure of effort.
Younger and older adults engaged in an initial task (Phase 1) for 5 min that was
relatively low (adding single digits) or high (subtracting by 3 s) in cognitive demands.
They then solved a series of multiplication problems for 3 min (Phase 2). Cardiovascular
measures were collected throughout, and reactivity was examined as a function of age,
initial task difficulty, and test phase.
Older adults exhibited higher levels of reactivity than younger adults to cognitive
engagement, with reactivity increasing with task difficulty. Difficulty of the initial
task was also associated with greater effort and lower performance on the subsequent
multiplication task, suggestive of fatigue or depletion. These fatigue effects were
stronger for older adults.
The results were consistent with expectations and provided support for the utility of
SBP reactivity as a measure of cognitive effort in studies of aging.
Aging; Cardiovascular reactivity; Cognition; Effort; Motivation
This study examines coresident relationships in assisted living (AL) and identifies
factors influencing relationships.
We draw on qualitative data collected from 2008 to 2009 from three AL communities
varying in size, location, and resident characteristics. Data collection methods
included participant observation, and informal and formal, in-depth interviews with
residents, administrators, and AL staff. Data analysis was guided by principles of
grounded theory method, an iterative approach that seeks to discover core categories,
processes, and patterns and link these together to construct theory.
The dynamic, evolutionary nature of relationships and the individual patterns that
comprise residents’ overall experiences with coresidents are captured by our core
category, “negotiating social careers in AL.” Across facilities,
relationships ranged from stranger to friend. Neighboring was a common way of relating
and often involved social support, but was not universal. We offer a conceptual model
explaining the multilevel factors influencing residents’ relationships and social
Our explanatory framework reveals the dynamic and variable nature of coresident
relationships and raises additional questions about social career variability,
trajectories, and transitions. We discuss implications for practice including the need
for useable spaces, thoughtful activity programming, and the promotion of neighboring
through staff and family involvement.
Assisted living; Qualitative methods; Social careers; Social relationships; Social support
Previous studies showed that negative self-stereotypes detrimentally affect the
cognitive performance of marginalized group members; however, these findings were
confined to short-term experiments. In the present study, we considered whether
stereotypes predicted memory over time, which had not been previously examined. We also
considered whether self-relevance increased the influence of stereotypes on memory over
Multiple waves of memory performance were analyzed using individual growth models. The
sample consisted of 395 participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging.
Those with more negative age stereotypes demonstrated significantly worse memory
performance over 38 years than those with less negative age stereotypes, after adjusting
for relevant covariates. The decline in memory performance for those aged 60 and above
was 30.2% greater for the more negative age stereotype group than for the less negative
age stereotype group. Also, the impact of age stereotypes on memory was significantly
greater among those for whom the age stereotypes were self-relevant.
This study shows that the adverse influence of negative self-stereotypes on cognitive
performance is not limited to a short-term laboratory effect. Rather, the findings
demonstrate, for the first time, that stereotypes also predict memory performance over
an extended period in the community.
Ageism; Aging; Memory; Self-perception; Stereotypes
To explore whether a ratio of positive to negative affect, from the work of Fredricksen
and Losada, could predict high levels of well-being in elderly samples and especially in
nursing home residents despite multiple chronic health conditions, consonant with Ryff
and Singer's notion of “flourishing under fire.”
We used two samples: a probability sample of community-residing elders and a sample
from nursing homes. We calculated ratios of positive to negative affect in each sample
and measured well-being with social interaction, mental health, life satisfaction, and
The positivity ratio of 2.9 differentiated high levels of well-being in both the
samples, as in previous research on younger samples.
Although we expected the positivity ratio to perform less well among nursing home
residents, we found that it differentiated residents with high well-being just as well
as in the community sample. The ability to regulate positive affect to maintain a
relative ratio of positive over negative affect appears to be an important aspect of
successful adjustment in late life. Further research is needed on objective indicators
of quality of life and on whether intra-individual shifts in affect balance are coupled
with shifts in indicators of positive mental health.
Emotion/emotion regulation; Long-term care; Nursing homes; Successful aging; Well-being
To study long-term effects of psychosocial work stress in mid-life on health
functioning after labor market exit using two established work stress models.
In the frame of the prospective French Gazel cohort study, data on psychosocial work
stress were assessed using the full questionnaires measuring the demand-control-support
model (in 1997 and 1999) and the effort–reward imbalance model (in 1998). In 2007,
health functioning was assessed, using the Short Form 36 mental and physical component
scores. Multivariate regressions were calculated to predict health functioning in 2007,
controlling for age, gender, social position, and baseline self-perceived health.
Consistent effects of both work stress models and their single components on mental and
physical health functioning during retirement were observed. Effects remained
significant after adjustment including baseline self-perceived health. Whereas the
predictive power of both work stress models was similar in the case of the physical
composite score, in the case of the mental health score, values of model fit were
slightly higher for the effort–reward imbalance model (R²:
0.13) compared with the demand-control model (R²: 0.11).
Findings underline the importance of working conditions in midlife not only for health
in midlife but also for health functioning after labor market exit.
Gazel; Health functioning; Long-term effects; Work stress
On the global-level, spiritual experiences have been shown to buffer against the
negative effects of stress on well-being for older adults, but this global-level
analysis may not reflect the day-to-day processes at work. The present project uses a
daily paradigm to examine the potential moderating effect of everyday spiritual
experience (ESE) on the deleterious impact of a given day’s perceived stress (PS)
on that day’s positive and negative affect (PA/NA).
Participants were 244 older adults aged 55–80 years who completed daily
assessments for up to 56 days.
Results partially support the moderating hypothesis: ESE buffered the negative effect
of PS on same-day NA but had a positive direct effect on same-day PA.
These results point to a differential function of ESE—that it serves a coping
function for NA but enhances PA directly—in the day-to-day lives of older adults,
shedding light on the nuanced role of religiousness and spirituality when it comes to
coping with daily stress.
Daily stress; Spiritual coping; Daily affect; Daily well-being; Aging
Understand the links between race and C-reactive protein (CRP), with special attention to gender differences and the role of class and behavioral risk factors as mediators.
This study utilizes the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project data, a nationally representative study of older Americans aged 57–85 to explore two research questions. First, what is the relative strength of socioeconomic versus behavioral risk factors in explaining race differences in CRP levels? Second, what role does gender play in understanding race differences? Does the relative role of socioeconomic and behavioral risk factors in explaining race differences vary when examining men and women separately?
When examining men and women separately, socioeconomic and behavioral risk factor mediators vary in their importance. Indeed, racial differences in CRP among men aged 57–74 are little changed after adjusting for both socioeconomic and behavioral risk factors with levels 35% higher for black men as compared to white men. For women aged 57–74, however, behavioral risk factors explain 30% of the relationship between race and CRP.
The limited explanatory power of socioeconomic position and, particularly, behavioral risk factors, in elucidating the relationship between race and CRP among men, signals the need for research to examine additional mediators, including more direct measures of stress and discrimination.
Behavioral risk factors; Gender; Inflammation; Race
Older adults’ decision quality is considered to be worse than that of younger adults. This age-related difference is often attributed to reductions in risk tolerance. Little is known about the circumstances that affect older adults’ decisions and whether risk attitudes directly influence economic decisions. We measure the influence of risk attitudes on age-related differences in decision making in both nonsocial and social contexts.
Risk attitudes and economic decision making were measured in 30 healthy older adults and 29 healthy younger adults.
Older adults report being less impulsive, sensation seeking and risk tolerant than younger adults. Age did not affect a measure of nonsocial economic decision making. Older adults were more likely to reject unfair divisions of money during an economic social-bargaining game and more likely to make equitable divisions of money during social-giving game. These age-related differences were determined in part by individuals’ self-reported risk taking.
We conclude that age-related differences in decision making are domain specific and that some social economic decision making is influenced by risk attitudes. Older adults are more risk avoidant, but this does not alter their willingness to wait for reward in a nonsocial context. Perceiving more risk is associated with an unwillingness to accept an unfair offer in social economic contexts and ultimately leads to poorer outcomes for older adults.
Aging; Decision making; Delay discounting; Dictator game; Risk taking; Ultimatum game
We investigated how fluctuations and linear changes in health and cognitive resources influence the motivation to engage in complex cognitive activity and the extent to which motivation mediated the relationship between changing resources and cognitively demanding activities.
Longitudinal data from 332 adults aged 20–85 years were examined. Motivation was assessed using a composite of Need for Cognition and Personal Need for Structure and additional measures of health, sensory functioning, cognitive ability, and self-reported activity engagement.
Multilevel modeling revealed that age-typical changes in health, sensory functions, and ability were associated with changes in motivation, with the impact of declining health on motivation being particularly strong in older adulthood. Changes in motivation, in turn, predicted involvement in cognitive and social activities as well as changes in cognitive ability. Finally, motivation was observed to partially mediate the relationship between changes in resources and cognitively demanding activities.
Our results suggest that motivation may play an important role in determining the course of cognitive change and involvement in cognitively demanding everyday activities in adulthood.
Aging; Cognition; Health; Longitudinal change; Motivation
Understanding lifestyle improvements among individuals with chronic illness is vital for targeting interventions that can increase longevity and improve quality of life.
Data from the U.S. Health and Retirement Study were used to examine changes in smoking, alcohol use, and exercise 2–14 years after a diagnosis of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, or lung disease.
Patterns of behavior change following diagnosis indicated that the vast majority of individuals diagnosed with a new chronic condition did not adopt healthier behaviors. Smoking cessation among those with heart disease was the largest observed change, but only 40% of smokers quit. There were no significant increases in exercise for any health condition. Changes in alcohol consumption were small, with significant declines in excessive drinking and increases in abstention for a few health conditions. Over the long term, individuals who made changes appeared to maintain those changes. Latent growth curve analyses up to 14 years after diagnosis showed no average long-term improvement in health behaviors.
Results provide important new information on health behavior changes among those with chronic disease and suggest that intensive efforts are required to help initiate and maintain lifestyle improvements among this population.
Chronic disease; Disease management; Health behavior; Rehabilitation; Secondary prevention
To identify informal primary caregiver characteristics associated with care transitions of community-dwelling older persons with impairments in daily living activities.
Data for this study were pooled to observe transitions from Wave 1–Wave 2 and Wave 2–Wave 3 of the Second Longitudinal Survey on Aging (LSOA II). The sample includes respondents with at least one impairment in daily living activities and with an informal caregiver at baseline of each transition period (n = 2,990). Primary caregiver transitions to another informal caregiver, to formal care, to a nursing home, or to no care were modeled using multinomial logistic regression.
More than half (54%) of the surviving respondents experienced a care transition for a period of 2 years. Multivariate results indicate that husband and son primary caregivers are more likely to transfer care than wives and daughters, although children caring for same-gender parents were less likely to transfer out of the primary caregiver role than children caring for parents of the opposite sex. Respondents with primary caregivers who are “other” relatives or nonrelatives, who are not coresident with the care receiver, or who are assisted by secondary helpers were at elevated risk for care transitions over the 2-year study period.
The results of this study suggest that older persons’ care transitions result from complex informal network dynamics, with primary caregiver gender and relationship to the care receiver playing key roles.
Caregiving; Community-based care; Disability
This study longitudinally examines the impact of transportation support on driving cessation among community-dwelling older adults residing in retirement communities.
Data came from 3 waves of the Florida Retirement Study (1990–1992), a population-based cohort study. Analysis was limited to participants who drove at baseline and were reinterviewed in 1992 (N = 636). Transportation support from a spouse, family members, friends/neighbors, agencies/organizations (e.g., church), or hired assistants was included. Discrete-time multivariate hazard models were estimated to examine the impact of transportation support on driving cessation while controlling for demographic and health characteristics.
Participants were more likely to stop driving if they had received at least some transportation support from friends/neighbors (Hazard Ratio = 2.49, p = .001) as compared with those with little or no support. Transportation support from organizations/agencies or hired assistants was also significantly associated with the likelihood of driving cessation, but only a small number of participants reported to have received such support. Receiving some or more transportation support from a spouse or family members did not have a statistically significant relationship with driving cessation.
The findings suggest that available nonkin transportation support, particularly support from peer friends, plays an important role in driving cessation for older adults living in retirement communities.
Driving; Mobility—Social integration; Social support; Transportation
Data from the Healthy Aging Network (HAN) study (Prohaska, T., Eisenstein, A., Satariano, W., Hunter, R., Bayles, C., Kurtovich, E., … Ivey, S. . Walking and the preservation of cognitive function in older populations. The Gerontologist, 49[Suppl. 1], S86–S93; and Satariano, W., Ivey, S., Kurtovich, E., Kealey, M., Hubbard, A., Bayles, C., … Prohaska, T. . Lower-body function, neighborhoods, and walking in an older population. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 38, 419–428.) were used to examine the relationships among physical activity, self-efficacy, functional performance, and limitations.
Interviews were conducted within homes and senior centers in 4 geographic regions across the United States. Participants were 884 older adults (M age = 74.8; 77% female; 35% minority status) who completed measures of walking behavior, way-finding self-efficacy, walking self-efficacy, functional performance, functional limitations, and demographic characteristics.
Path analysis within a covariance modeling framework revealed significant direct effects of walking on self-efficacy constructs, functional performance on functional limitations, and efficacy on limitations. Additionally, significant indirect effects were also found, including walking on limitations via walking self-efficacy and performance and walking self-efficacy on limitations via performance. Furthermore, we found support for invariance of the model across geographical grouping.
Our findings provide further validation for an efficacy-based model of functional limitations. Walking-related efficacy may help reduce or possibly delay the onset of functional limitations.
Aging; Functional limitations; Physical activity; Self-efficacy