Background: Psychological stress plays a pivotal role in individual well-being in aging. Environmental and psychological variables influence the stress responses of older adults. This study investigated the impact of some sociodemographic and appraisal of the life experiences on perceived stress. Method: 300 older adults participated in the study. A measure of psychological stress and a questionnaire assessing the appraisal of life events and beliefs on the experience to be an older person were used. Results: Females reported higher levels of stress. Moreover, the participants who lived in a rural area were more stressed than those who lived in an urban area. Beliefs on aging and condition of life affected perceived stress more than physical and objective variables. Limitation: The study has several limitations. The data were self-reported, and the design of the study was cross-sectional. Moreover, a convenience sample was used. Conclusions: This study showed that appraisal that old persons have of their life influences perceived stress. Well-being in aging is a complex goal and involves socio-emotional adjustment. Findings permit to hypothesize that encouraging independence is the base for enhancing the well-being of the older person. Older people must have the resources they need to deal with the challenges they face, to achieve a sense of purpose and control in their lives. This issues could be critical when planning the organization of services for older adults. These services should not just aim to maintain physical health but should also take into account the psychological needs of older people.

Perception of stress in aging: the role of environmental variables and appraisal of the life experiences on psychological stress

Commodari E.
;
Di Nuovo S.
2019

Abstract

Background: Psychological stress plays a pivotal role in individual well-being in aging. Environmental and psychological variables influence the stress responses of older adults. This study investigated the impact of some sociodemographic and appraisal of the life experiences on perceived stress. Method: 300 older adults participated in the study. A measure of psychological stress and a questionnaire assessing the appraisal of life events and beliefs on the experience to be an older person were used. Results: Females reported higher levels of stress. Moreover, the participants who lived in a rural area were more stressed than those who lived in an urban area. Beliefs on aging and condition of life affected perceived stress more than physical and objective variables. Limitation: The study has several limitations. The data were self-reported, and the design of the study was cross-sectional. Moreover, a convenience sample was used. Conclusions: This study showed that appraisal that old persons have of their life influences perceived stress. Well-being in aging is a complex goal and involves socio-emotional adjustment. Findings permit to hypothesize that encouraging independence is the base for enhancing the well-being of the older person. Older people must have the resources they need to deal with the challenges they face, to achieve a sense of purpose and control in their lives. This issues could be critical when planning the organization of services for older adults. These services should not just aim to maintain physical health but should also take into account the psychological needs of older people.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/371880
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