Cognitive styles are the lenses through which individuals habitually process information from their environment. In this study, we evaluated whether different cognitive style individual difference variables, such as explanatory style and dispositional optimism, could predict changes in affective state over time in community-dwelling older adults. Based on previous research, we hypothesized that an optimistic explanatory style would be adaptive except when combined with life stressors, but that dispositional optimism would predict positive affective states regardless of life events. We found that older adults with a more optimistic explanatory style for health/cognitive events actually appeared to develop more depressive symptoms over six months of follow-up. However, dispositional optimism and orientation toward the future predicted a better affective profile over time.
"Many age-related problems, such as declining health, functional impairment, and loss of family or friends, are not amenable to the control-oriented strategies promoted by traditional CBT. In fact, some evidence suggests that older adults who make active efforts to eliminate problems that cannot be solved are at higher risk for depression and other negative outcomes (Isaacowitz & Seligman, 2002), and disengaging from commitments or goals that are unattainable followed by choosing an attainable alternative is associated with better emotional well-being (Wrosch, Dunne, Scheier, & Schulz, 2006; Wrosch, Scheier, Miller, Schulz, & Carver, 2003). Cross-sectional research in older samples supports the relationship between acceptance and quality-of-life factors among older adults living in retirement communities (Butler & Ciarrochi, 2007), functionally impaired nursing home residents (Bickerstaff, Grasser, & McCabe, 2003), and individuals with medical conditions such as hearing loss (Gomez & Madey, 2001) and chronic pain (Yong, 2006). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Some evidence suggests that acceptance-based approaches such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) may be well-suited to geriatric generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The primary goal of this project was to determine whether ACT was feasible for this population. Seven older primary-care patients with GAD received 12 individual sessions of ACT; another 9 were treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy. No patients dropped out of ACT, and worry and depression improved. Findings suggest that ACT may warrant a large-scale investigation with anxious older adults.
"Although controversies still exist on the structure of affect, many in the field consider positive and negative affect to be independent constructs (Watson & Clark, 1997). Indeed, research with older individuals has found that positive and negative affect are independent (Kercher, 1992), and have both different age-related trajectories (Carstensen et al., 2000; Charles et al., 2001; Mroczek & Kolarz, 1998) as well as differential relationships with other variables (Isaacowitz & Seligman, 2002). Consistent with Costa and McCrae's (1980) early predictions that extraversion would predict positive affect and neuroticism would predict negative affect, we find exactly these relationships in the current study. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The current study examined two issues involving the relationship between age and affect in very old age using data from men
and women (aged 70 to 100+ years, M = 85 years) in the Berlin Aging Study (BASE). The first issue was whether unique effects of age on positive and negative
affect remained after we controlled for other variables that would be expected to relate to affect in late life. We found
no unique effects of age after we controlled for demographic, personality, and health and cognitive functioning variables.
Personality and general intelligence emerged as the strongest predictors of positive and negative affect. Second, we evaluated
patterns within meaningful subgroups: young old versus oldest old and men versus women. Subgroup differences in predictor
patterns were minimal. Although we accounted for much of the age-related variance in positive and negative affect, a significant
amount of variance in the affect of older adults remained unexplained.
The Journals of Gerontology Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 06/2003; 58(3):P143-52. DOI:10.1093/geronb/58.3.P143 · 3.21 Impact Factor
"At opplevelsen av mestring er lavere blant eldre, og trolig har sunket gjennom siste halvdel av livet er ikke overraskende, og er dokumentert i en rekke studier (Solem 1974, Isaacowitz & Seligman 2002). Med økende alder vil mange oppleve reduserte krefter, sviktende helse og mindre innflytelse på mange områder. "
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