The influence of depression and anxiety on ageing stereotypes and attitudes to ageing among older adults

Townsend, Emma (2020) The influence of depression and anxiety on ageing stereotypes and attitudes to ageing among older adults. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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The promotion of successful aging is more important than ever before given the aging population worldwide. An emerging body of literature has explored the adverse impact negative aging stereotypes and negative attitudes towards aging have on older adult’s health outcomes. Given the prevalence of anxiety and depression among older adults, the thesis portfolio aimed to explore the influence of mood on these aging stereotypes and attitudes towards aging among older adults.

A systematic review was conducted to synthesise the research that has examined anxiety and its related disorders in relation to these aging attitudes among older adults. The evidence suggested that higher levels of anxiety were consistently related to more negative attitudes towards aging, and aging stereotypes. Limitations were identified in the quality and quantity of the research included in the review.

The empirical study aimed to address these limitations and explored the relationship between mood and attitudes towards aging and aging stereotypes among a clinical sample of older adults with symptoms of anxiety and depression, to a non-clinical sample of older adults. Older adults with higher levels of anxiety and depression report more negative attitudes towards aging than those with sub clinical levels of anxiety and depression. This supports the hypothesis that attitudes towards aging are mood-state dependent. Aging stereotypes were less influenced by mood variables. Finally, attitudes towards aging and aging stereotypes were strongly correlated. The theoretical and clinical implications from this research regarding the application of therapeutic interventions are discussed, as well as recommendations for future research.

People between 65-79 report the highest level of wellbeing in comparison to the rest of the age span and the majority of older adults hold positive attitudes towards aging. Therefore, as clinicians and as a society we should be promoting this positive literature to tackle negative attitudes and stereotypes.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2020 14:01
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2020 14:01

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