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The Diverse Perspectives On Adjustment to Aging Among the Old and the Oldest Old

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 April 2020

S. Von Humboldt
Affiliation:
Research Unit in Psychology and Health R&D, ISPA-Instituto Universitário, Lisbon, Portugal
I. Leal
Affiliation:
Research Unit in Psychology and Health R&D, ISPA-Instituto Universitário, Lisbon, Portugal

Abstract

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Introduction

Older adults experience varying challenges that occur from late adulthood to extreme old age.

Objectives

This study aims at exploring the indicators of adjustment to aging (AtA) reported by old and oldest old adults and at examining the potential explanatory mechanisms of a model for AtA for these two age groups.

Methods

This qualitative study comprised demographics and semi-structured interviews. Complete information on 152 older adults aged between 76-102 years (M=83.76; SD = 6.458) Data was subjected to content analysis. The correlational structure and latent constructs of indicators of AtA were analyzed by a Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA).

Results

‘Occupation and achievement’ was the most mentioned indicator of AtA by the old participants (17.7%), whilst, ‘existential meaning and spirituality’ was the most verbalized indicator of AtA for the oldest old participants (16.9%). AtA was explained by a three-factor model for each age group. For the old participants, the largest factor ‘occupational and social focus’ accounted for 33.6% of total variance, whereas for the oldest old participants, ‘spirituality and health focus’ represented 33.5% of total variance.

Conclusions

The outcomes presented in this paper stressed the varied perspectives concerning AtA, contoured in two different models, for the old and the oldest old, and the need of considering these when designing and implementing programs in health care for these two age groups.

Type
Article: 1427
Copyright
Copyright © European Psychiatric Association 2015
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