Older adults feel younger when they got greater sense of control, says study
AFP Relaxnews / 03:26 PM March 17, 2019
A new study has found that older adults feel younger when they feel that they have more control over their day-to-day lives.
The study, from researchers at North Carolina State University in the United States, and published in The Journal of Gerontology, focused on 116 older adults aged 60 to 90, and 107 younger adults aged 18 to 36.
For eight consecutive days, the volunteers filled out a daily survey, answering questions aimed at evaluating their stress levels, physical health, sense of control over their daily lives, and how old they felt.
“We found that when older adults felt more in control, they also felt younger. That was true even when accounting for stress and physical health,” explains North Carolina State University psychology professor and paper co-author, Shevaun Neupert.
For the younger participants, this sense of control appeared to have no bearing on how individuals perceived their own age. However, the study found that stress and health problems did make the younger adults feel older.
“This highlights the importance of having older adults retain some sense of autonomy. It’s not just a nice thing to do, it actually affects their wellbeing,” Neupert concludes. JB