Health SA Gesondheid (Online)
On-line version ISSN 2071-9736
Print version ISSN 1025-9848
VON HUMBOLDT, Sofia; LEAL, Isabel; PIMENTA, Filipa and NICULESCU, Georgeta. In the eyes of older adults: Self-reported age and adjustment in African and European older adults. Health SA Gesondheid (Online) [online]. 2013, vol.18, n.1, pp.1-10. ISSN 2071-9736.
To explore older adults' perceptions of subjective age and adjustment to ageing and to analyse the correlational structure of the pre-categories in our study: subjective age, indicators of adjustment to ageing and of personal age perception. An exploratory, descriptive mixed-methods design was utilised. A purposive sampling method was used to select 154 older adults aged between 75 and 99 years from three different nationalities. Semi-structured interviews were performed, addressing two core areas: subjective age and adjustment to ageing. Data was subjected to content analysis. Representation of the correlational structure of the precategories in our study (subjective age and indicators of adjustment to ageing) were analysed by a Multiple Correspondence Analysis. Standardised instruments measured regular cognitive abilities. Five categories derived from interviews for subjective age: 'adapted', 'disconnected', 'old', 'youthful' and 'tolerant'. A total of seven categories emerged as indicators of adjustment to ageing: 'social networking', 'health', 'time perspective', 'spirituality', 'financial autonomy', 'professional activities' and 'fulfilment and leisure'. These results supported a model for each pre-category. Subjective age was explained by a two-factor model: 'age-conscientious' and 'youthful'. A three-dimensional model formed by 'reconciled', 'satisficers' and 'maximisers' was indicated as a best-fit solution for adjustment to ageing. A three-dimensional overall model for PAP was formed by 'age-cognisant', 'fulfilled' and 'satisficers'. The findings highlighted the underdeveloped potential of subjective age, adjustment to ageing and a personal age perception overall model for this population. Enhancing subjective age and adjustment to ageing might be an important target to improve older adults' interventions' outcomes.