Search Results

The Interface of Personality Processes and Cognitive Abilities: A Comparative Study of Elderly and Young Adults

Description: Although research has shown that the complex constructs of intelligence and personality are necessarily intertwined, studies exploring this issue in elderly individuals are rare. The importance attached to this interface in older adults becomes particularly clear in light of the debate over the cause and extent of age-related decrements in cognitive performance as well as whether such losses can be ameliorated or not, especially given societal shifts toward increased life expectancies. The present study explored the basis for shifts in personality-ability relationships in adulthood by comparing two samples of older adults, one of which was assessed in 1975 (N = 102, M age = 68.4), and the second of which was assessed in 1995 (N = 100, M age = 72.0), and a sample of younger adults (N = 100, M age = 21.8), also assessed in 1995. Each participant was administered the Holtzman Inkblot Technique and the Gf-Gc Sampler, a measure of crystallized (Gc) and fluid (Gf) abilities. LISREL analyses of both age-related and historical shifts in personality-ability relationships suggested that not only were such shifts associated with cohort differences as reflected in factor loading (lambda) differences between the older samples and the younger sample, as well as between each of the older samples, but also that such connections were weaker among younger adults. These findings are important in revealing that sociocultural shifts in opportunities for continued cognitive growth influence the impact of noncognitive (personality) factors on intellectual functioning in later life. Limitations of the current study, implications of the results, and suggestions for future research are discussed.
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Date: August 2000
Creator: O'Brien, Dina Paige Ragow
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Willingness of Older Adults to Evacuate in the Event of a Disaster

Description: The issue of rising number of disasters, the overwhelming increase in number of older adults, and historically flawed evacuations presents real challenges. Disasters can strike anywhere, any time, and have devastating consequences. Since 1900, the number of Americans 65 and older has increased 12 times (from 3.1 million to 36.3 million). During the next two decades, the number of American baby boomers, now aged 45-64, who turn 65, will increase by 40%. As evidenced by recent disasters, the imperfections and vulnerabilities of flawed evacuations for older adults are still present. This study examined the level of willingness to evacuate among older adults in the event of a disaster. Despite the extensive literature on disasters and evacuation, some significant questions regarding evacuation and older adults have not been addressed. This study addressed the following concerns: (1) What is the willingness among older adults to evacuate when asked to do so by emergency management officials? (2) Does the call to evacuate being mandatory versus voluntary influence the willingness of seniors to evacuate? (3) Do preconditions (Gender, Marital Status, Age, Ethnic Origin, and Education Levels) influence the willingness to evacuate among older adults? The sample population consisted of 765 voluntary participants aged 60 years and older from thirty senior/community centers within seven counties in the State of Oklahoma. A group administered survey (The Disaster Evacuation Survey) included a total of 15 questions. This study revealed the following findings: older adults are more likely to comply with a mandatory evacuation order. Individuals with college degrees are more likely to comply with mandatory evacuations. African Americans are more likely to comply with a voluntary request. American Indian/Alaskan Native are more likely to comply with mandatory evacuation orders from emergency officials. Important practical implications for emergency officials responding to vulnerable older adults in disaster situations are ...
Date: May 2009
Creator: Gray-Graves, Amy Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

Psychosocial Determinants of Diabetic Control and Satisfaction with Diabetes Care

Description: Diabetes mellitus affects 7.8% of the American population. National health statistic data and other research shows that racial/ethnic disparities exist in terms of prevalence and treatment outcomes. The present study investigated the role of patient health beliefs (i.e., locus of control, self-efficacy) and the doctor-patient relationship (e.g., satisfaction and collaboration with health care provider), as relative predictors of diabetic control (i.e., HbA1c levels) and overall satisfaction with diabetes care, in older adult participants with diabetes. Demographic, psychosocial, and diabetes-related data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) 2003 Diabetes Study were analyzed to compare treatment outcomes among non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic individuals with various types of diabetes. Non-Hispanic White individuals exhibited better diabetic control than their minority counterparts (F(2, 592) = 7.60, p < .001); however, no significant group differences were noted in terms of psychosocial factors. Diabetic control was best predicted by time since diagnosis (&#946; = -.21, p < .001), satisfaction with diabetes self-care (&#946; = .19, p < .001) and age (&#946; = .12, p < .01). In addition, satisfaction with provider care was best predicted by perceived collaboration with provider (&#946; = .44, p < .001), satisfaction with diabetes self-care (&#946; = .22, p < .001) and diabetes self-efficacy (&#946; = .08, p < .05). Recommendations for future research were discussed.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Dzivakwe, Vanessa G.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Variations of the Hand Test with young and older adults

Description: To explore the influence that variations in projective stimuli might have on the respondent's ability to identify with pictorial representations of hands derived from the Hand Test (Wagner, 1961, 1983), 61 young adults (M age = 23) and 60 older adults (M age = 73) were presented with four alternate versions of hand stimuli (young male, young female, old male, and old female) in addition to the original Hand Test. Results indicated main effects for age and gender of respondent, which were primarily consistent with previous Hand Test research. Main effects for gender and age of hand stimuli (p < .05) were also found. Significant interaction effects were revealed for age of respondent by age of hand stimuli and for age of respondent by gender of hand stimuli (p < .05). These interactions resulted in the elicitation of a variety of responses to a differentiated manner than a standard set of Hand Test stimuli. A gender of respondent by gender of hand stimuli interaction effect was also found (p &lt; .05), suggesting that gender alterations of the card may also be beneficial for increasing respondent identification for some individuals. Overall, the results of variations in Hand Test stimuli, as they interact with respondent personal characteristics, indicate the utility of alternate versions of the Hand Test. This is based on the assumption that the respondent will identify with the hand that best resembles his/her hands, resulting in the stimulus performing its projective function to a greater extent.
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Date: August 2001
Creator: Radika, Lisa M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Pets and the level of loneliness in community dwelling older adults.

Description: Loneliness is a significant problem for older adults and can lead to negative health and social outcomes. Having a companion pet is beginning to be recognized as a way loneliness can be reduced for older persons. The purpose of this descriptive study was to determine the effect of pets on the level of loneliness in persons 60 years old or older who live alone and independently in a large metropolitan community in the North Central Texas area. Using a non-random snowball sample of older individuals (N = 252), who met the study criteria, each subject was administered the researcher-developed demographic data survey instrument containing the following variables: (a) pets - having a pet/wanting a pet, (b) age, (c) gender, (d) marital status, (e) living alone, (f) losses within the last six months, (g) interactions with family members, (h) interactions with others outside of the family, (i) highest educational level achieved, (j) employment or volunteer involvement in the community, (k) religious participation, and (l) self perceived health status. The UCLA Loneliness Scale Version 3 was used to obtain the loneliness scores. Prediction of loneliness and relationship with the independent variables was tested using frequency, correlation, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and multivariate analysis using ordinary least-squares (OLS) regression analysis. The findings from this study showed that those older adults living alone who did not have a pet but would like to have a companion pet had higher levels of loneliness (p<0.05). Other findings suggested that older adults' loneliness was less if they had moderate religious participation and interactions with others (p< 0.05). Future studies are needed to examine the effects that pets have on feelings of loneliness and the ability of older individuals to cope effectively with those feelings.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Nunnelee, Jane Baker
Partner: UNT Libraries

Vision Impairment and Depression in the Older Adult

Description: The older adult population in the United States is rapidly expanding both because of longer life expectancies as well as the aging of the baby boomers. While vision impairment is a growing concern among older adults, there have been few, mostly small studies, of the impact of vision impairment on this population. The present study uses a national data set, the Second Supplement on Aging (1994 -1996) from the National Health Interview Survey, in a cross-sectional study of 9,447 civilian non-institutionalized persons, aged 70 years and over at the time of their interview. The SOA II has been studied in the context of a social theory of aging that emphasizes interdependence through the life course using a stress process model that has been refined into a disability model. Disability is understood as a social construction outcome rather than as a medical outcome. Vision impairment is the stressor which is mediated by health (falls, functioning and self-health report), financial resources (education, income and having only public health insurance) and social support (marital, living along, having no living children, social activities in number and intensity). Depression is a possible, but not a necessary result of vision impairment. Disability may result when a medical pathology leads to an impairment which results in a functional limitation and finally a social disability. This secondary analysis used a multinomial logistic regression for both the whole sample as well as separately for each gender. For the whole sample the results indicate that a typical profile of a vision-impaired older adult depressed some/all of the time, would be a younger-old White woman (aged 70-74 years old) who has fallen in the past 12 months, has difficult with one or more Activities of Daily Living or with both one or more Activities of Daily Living and Instrumental Activities of ...
Date: August 2005
Creator: Otters, Rosalie V.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effect of Loneliness on Older Adults' Death Anxiety

Description: Previous research, as well as theory, has supported the existence of a relationship between death anxiety and loneliness in older adults but a causal examination has not been possible until now. A hypothesized model was developed which states that loneliness will lead to death anxiety mediated by cultural worldview. Longitudinal data was analyzed using Structural Equation Modeling in order to more fully explore this potentially causal relationship. The primary model was supported suggesting that loneliness can lead to death anxiety as mediated by cultural worldview. Implications and future directions are discussed.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Pinson, Melissa Ward
Partner: UNT Libraries

Differences Among Abused and Nonabused Younger and Older Adults as Measured by the Hand Test

Description: The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of participants' abused or nonabused status as it interacted with their age and gender in producing different patterns of Hand Test responses as a function of the age or gender of the card. Participants, 61 young adults (M age = 23) and 60 older adults (M age = 73), were presented with the original Hand Test cards, as well as four alternate versions (e.g., young male, young female, older male, and older female). Expected effects varying by age, gender, and abuse status were not found. Results indicated main effects for participant abuse status, which were largely consistent with previous Hand Test research. Significant interaction effects were also found for participant age by participant abuse status (p < .05), as well as participant age by participant gender by participant abuse status (p < .05). An interaction effect was also found for Hand Test version by participant abuse status (p < .05), Hand Test version by participant age by participant abuse status (p < .05), as well as Hand Test version by participant gender by participant abuse status (p < .05). These results suggest that the alternate forms of the cards may pull for certain responses among abused participants that would not have been identified otherwise via the standard version of the Hand Test, clinical interviews, or other projective and self-report measures of personality. Overall, the variations in Hand Test stimuli interact with participants' abuse status, and warrant the use of alternate versions of the Hand Test as a viable projective measure.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Sergio, Jessica A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Creativity and Affective Traits Across the Life Span: Developmental Influences Among Adolescents and Older Adults

Description: In recent years, empirical research has consistently supported an association between susceptibility to affective illness and creativity at the level of eminent achievement and at the non-eminent, or "everyday creativity" level. Although this research has provided greater evidence for the existence of this link, it has simultaneously unearthed more questions about how and why such an association exists. The purpose of this research was twofold: first, to provide further analysis of the nature of the relationship between hypomanic traits and creativity by employing a longitudinal study to determine the extent to which inter-individual differences over time in creativity are predicted by hypomanic traits. Second, the purpose of the cross-sectional analysis in the present study was to further determine how developmental components such as age and expertise may help unravel the ways in which hypomanic traits contribute to creativity and to further describe inter-individual differences among these variables. The first hypothesis, which proposed that the direction of the relationship between hypomanic traits and creativity could be predicted, was not supported by these results. The second research hypothesis was partially supported: hypomanic traits predict creativity in the combined adolescent and older adult samples. However, upon further examination of the regression analyses, the data indicate that the relationship between hypomanic traits and creativity is also influenced by age and developmental factors. Furthermore, the way in which the relationship is influenced by these other factors depends on the way in which the creativity construct is measured (e.g., process or personality. The findings suggest that the antecedents of creativity may differ between adolescents and older adults. In adolescents, the hypomanic traits measure is the only variable that predicts creative personality and creative process, while expertise is the only variable to predict creative personality and creative process among the older adults in this study. It appears ...
Date: August 2003
Creator: Wohl, Elizabeth C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Attrition in Longitudinal Studies Using Older Adults: A Meta-Analysis

Description: Longitudinal methods have become an improved and essential means of measuring intra-individual change over time. Yet one of the greatest and most hazardous drawbacks studying participants over multiple sessions can be the loss of participants over time. This study attempts to illuminate the problem of attrition in longitudinal research by estimating the mean effect sizes for participant loss across 57 studies published in 13 prestigious journals which regularly use older participants. Results estimate overall attrition to be around 34% of the original sample. The subsequent break down of attrition into its subtypes yield mean effect sizes for attrition due to Refusal (8%), Loss of contact (10%), Illness (6%), and Death (14%) in studies sampling from adults 50 years or older. Analyses were then conducted via meta-analytic one-way ANOVA and weighted regression to identify possible moderators of overall attrition and their four subtypes.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Rhodes, Anthony Ryan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Detecting Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults: a Validation Study of Selected Screening Instruments

Description: The present study investigated the criterion-based validity of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Cognitive Capacity Screening Examination (CCSE), and the Neurobehavioral Cognitive Status Examination (NCSE) in a sample of older adults with suspected cognitive impairment. As cognitive screening tests, the MMSE, CCSE, and NCSE should predict performance relative to a more thorough testing procedure. In the present study, performance on the Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Test Battery (HRNTB) was employed as the criterion measure. Scores on the General Neuropsychological Deficit Scale (G-NDS), a global performance measure computed from the HRNTB, served as the standard by which to judge the presence of cognitive impairment. The sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value of each screening test, as well as how well each screening test correlated with the G-NDS, were investigated. Results of this investigation found that, although the MMSE, CCSE, and NCSE were all significantly correlated with the G-NDS, only the NCSE demonstrated an appropriate balance between high sensitivity and specificity. When a rigorous neuropsychological evaluation was employed as the criterion standard, the NCSE accurately detected the presence of cognitive impairment: in 82% of the cases. The MMSE and CCSE, however, failed to detect cognitive deficits in approximately 80% of the cases. These findings strongly suggest that the MMSE and CCSE may have limited utility in the identification of cognitive impairment in older adults. The heightened sensitivity of the NCSE appears to be the result of several unigue features of the instrument, including a multidimensional scoring system and a graded series of increasingly difficult items within each ability area. Future studies need to examine the utility of the NCSE in other geriatric settings, as well as with more diverse populations suffering from a variety of organic mental syndromes.
Date: May 1993
Creator: McBride-Houtz, Patricia (Patricia Ann)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Health Care Services Utilization Among Older Adults: FInal Report

Description: Final report on a research study examining the use of physicians, hospitals, and dentists among the noninstitutionalized population 65 years of age and older in the United States to determine what social, economic, and health factors were most predictive of the use of those services.
Date: 1981
Creator: Eve, Susan Brown
Partner: UNT College of Public Affairs and Community Service

Aging Well: The Impact of Service Learning on Elders

Description: Poster presented at the 2013 University Scholars Day at the University of North Texas. This poster discusses research on the impact of service learning on elders. Innovative ways of enhancing the elderly's wellness have been introduced with research and services focusing on improving physical activity, nutrition, and increasing social interaction and involvement.
Date: April 14, 2011
Creator: Davis, Katelyn M. & Smith, Kenneth Scott, 1976-
Partner: UNT Honors College

Change in Depression of Spousal Caregivers of Dementia Patients.

Description: Caring for a family member or loved one with dementia places a heavy burden on those providing the care. Caregivers often develop chronic depression because of having to deal with this burden. A great deal of literature has been published discussing coping effectiveness, effects of social support, and other internal and external means of support for the caregiver. However, little has been written about the changes, if any, in depression that the caregiver experiences after the termination of care, either through institutionalization or death of the person with dementia. This study examined whether there is a change in depression of spousal caregivers after institutionalization of the dementia care recipient as well as any changes in depression that may have occurred as a result of the death of the dementia care recipient. Two theoretical models, the wear and tear model and the adaptation model were discussed in terms of caregiver depression after institutionalization of the dementia care recipient. Two other theoretical models, the relief model and the stress model, were discussed in terms of caregiver depression after the death of the dementia care recipient. Datasets from the National Institute on Aging sponsored Health and Retirement Study were analyzed. Results indicate that both male and female spousal caregivers report an increase in depression after the institutionalization or death of the dementia care recipient, but that as time passes, males report a decrease in depression while females continue to report an increase in depression.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Tweedy, Maureen P.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Cohort Differences in Perceptions of Helpful Counselor Characteristics

Description: The present study examined age cohort differences in older and younger adults as they relate to perceptions of helpful counselor characteristics. The present study also assessed whether previous help-seeking behavior influences perceptions of what counselor characteristics would be helpful. The social influence model is used as basis for predictions. The first research hypothesis for the present study was that there would be an age by cohort interaction in perceptions of helpful counselor characteristics at both Time 1 (1991) and Time 2 (2001). The second research hypothesis was that there would be a main effect for cohort, with more recently born cohorts preferring more interpersonal counselor characteristics. The third research hypothesis was that there would be a main effect for age in endorsement of the social influence model. The fourth research hypothesis was that there would be a significant difference between the perceptions of those individuals who had previously sought help from a mental health professional and those individuals who had not sought help, regardless of age and cohort. A revised Adjective Check List (Gough, 1965; Gough & Heilbrum, 1983) was used to assess perceptions of helpful counselor characteristics. Chi-square analyses, MANOVA/supplementary ANOVAs, and exploratory factor analyses were used to test the research hypotheses. The first and second research hypotheses were supported. The third research hypothesis was not supported. The fourth research hypothesis was supported for Time 1, but not for Time 2. Limitations of the present study and implications of this research are discussed.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Utermark, Tamisha L
Partner: UNT Libraries

Factors Influencing Older Adults' Patterns of Information Acquisition

Description: A group of 101 older adults (sixty-five years of age and over) who lived independently in three retirement apartment residences in Denton, Texas, were asked about their patterns of reading, television viewing, and radio listening habits for two periods in their lives: (1) at age forty to fifty-five and (2) at the present. Respondents were asked about their use of external information sources (public library, grocery store, newsstand, etc.) and their use of proximate information sources (radio, friends/relatives, television, etc.) They were also asked about access to transportation, income satisfaction, status of general health, vision, hearing, physical mobility and reasons for utilizing various information sources. Four hypotheses relating changes in health, environment, economic status, and education to reasons for reading and use of information sources were tested through the use of t-tests, regression analysis and analysis of variance. Within this group of older adults, use of external information sources decreased from the past to the present. There was, however, no change in the use of information sources located in or near the residence as difficulties in these areas increased. A relationship was found between educational level and reading for pleasure earlier in life. Also, those with higher educational levels reported fewer differences in their reasons for reading in the present and in the past.
Date: May 1989
Creator: Barnett, Mary Jane, 1952-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Social Capital and Health Among Older Adults in China: a Multi-level Analysis

Description: Health and well-being of older adults has become a worldwide public health concern and has been attracting increasing attention from scholars across the globe. But little is known about the health of the Chinese elderly. Using data from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) --Pilot, a pilot survey in 2008 in two provinces of China, Gansu and Zhejiang, this dissertation examines the association between social capital at both the individual- and community- levels and three health outcomes among older adults in China. A series of multi-level models were estimated using SAS 9.2. Statistical results indicate that such individual-level social capital variables as perceived help and support in the future, help from others, and birthplace significantly impacted health among older Chinese adults. When examining the relationship between community-level social capital and health, this study confirms the significant association between community-level social capital and good health independent of individual-level predictors. This study also indicates that the impact of gender and rural-urban Hukou status interacts with the province of residence. The results were discussed in terms of cultural legacy in the Chinese cultural setting, the current social dynamics related to old age support, health-related government reforms, and various disparities across different regions and across different social groups in China.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Shen, Yuying
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effect of Age on Likelihood to Test for Hiv

Description: HIV/AIDS can affect individuals of any age. Efforts to educate those considered to be most at-risk, based on the age at which the most individuals are infected, are ongoing and public. Less work and mainstream education outreach, however, is being directed at an older population, who can be more likely to contract HIV, is more susceptible to the effects of HIV, and more likely to develop AIDS, than younger persons. Guided by the Health Belief Model theory, research was conducted to determine what, if any, relationship existed between age of an individual and the possibility that an HIV test will be sought. Factors of gender, education, ethnicity and marital status were included in analyses. the research indicated that as age increased, likelihood for getting an HIV test decreased. Overall, most individuals had not been tested for HIV. the implications of an aged and aging population with HIV include a need for coordinated service delivery, increased education and outreach.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Dreyer, Katherine
Partner: UNT Libraries