Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Examining Self-Perceptions of Aging: A Psychoeducational Approach to Improving Mental Health in Older Adults
by Jacobs, Stephanie M., M.A., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2016, 55; 10128865
Abstract (Summary)

There are many variables that influence how successfully someone can move through the aging process while maintaining high levels of health, physical and psychological. In the present study, we examined how self-perceptions of aging—or the way in which someone might view their own aging process in a more positive or negative manner—influenced such healthy aging outcomes. More specifically, it was hypothesized that if we could get people to hold a more positive view of the aging process, it would make them more likely to work towards maintaining or improving their own levels of psychological well-being. In order to test this idea, older adult participants were recruited and placed into treatment or control groups. The treatment groups received a brief, psychoeducational intervention in the form of a presentation, discussing healthy aging, the importance of holding a positive view of aging, and ways to improve mental health in old age. The findings of this study indicated that the intervention did not significantly help to improve positive perceptions of aging compared to the control group, nor to increase their levels of engagement in psychologically healthy behaviors. However, there were many limitations to this study that may have been confounding, many of which would be easily changeable if the study were to be replicated in the future. Therefore, further research is merited on these topics, as they may provide much needed information about how to help senior citizens stay psychologically healthy.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pomerantz, Andrew
Commitee: Ro, Eunyoe, Rosnick, Christopher
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 55/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Mental health, Aging, Clinical psychology
Publication Number: 10128865
ISBN: 978-1-339-86843-1
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