I'm as old as I feel : subjective age in Finnish adults
Virpi Uotinen osoitti väitöskirjatyössään, että subjektiivinen ikä, eli yksilön oma arvio iästään, on yhteydessä koettuun hyvinvointiin ja terveyteen erityisesti elämän jälkipuoliskolla. Iäkkäistä haastatelluista noin puolet kuvasi itseään ikäänsä nuoremmaksi ja lähes yhtä moni tunsi itsensä ikäisekseen. Pieni, usein muita huonokuntoisempi vähemmistö, piti itseään kalenteri-ikäänsä vanhempana. Haastatelluista noin puolet mainitsi senhetkisen ikänsä ihanneiäkseen. Itsensä omaa ikäänsä nuoremmaksi ilmoittaneita oli lähes yhtä paljon. Heidän kokemuksensa selittynee ikääntymistä koskevien kulttuuristen uskomusten yksipuolisuudella, jolloin yhä harvempi ikääntyvä löytää niistä itseään.The aims of the study were to explore the patterns of subjective age among Finnish adults and to examine whether subjective age would be associated with indicators of health, well-being and functioning. Further, the aim was to investigate potential cross-cultural differences in subjective age. Subjective age was defined as the dimension of age that reflects age as experienced by an individual. The study, reported in four original articles, was part of the Evergreen project, a longitudinal and multidisciplinary research programme, based on samples that were drawn from the inhabitants of Jyväskylä, Finland. In studies 1-3 the participants were aged 65 to 84 years. They were interviewed in their homes in 1988 (N = 1,224) and 1996 (N = 663), and their mortality was followed up for 13 years. The participants of study 4, conducted in 1992, were aged 25 to 64 years (N = 1,355) and answered a mailed questionnaire concerning attitudes towards ageing. The participation rates in studies 1-3 were 80%-88% and in study 4 total of 61.5%. Subjective age was indicated by feel age, ideal age, mental age, and physical age. Additional questions concerned age weighing, the onset of old age, and willingness to live 100 years. In studies 1-3 information on participants’ physical and mental status and social situation was gathered. The results showed both stability and bi-directional change in subjective age. Men and women did not differ in their feel age but women reported higher ideal age in all age groups. The associations found between subjective age and indicators of health, well-being and functioning were in line with previous studies, suggesting that subjective age is a valid measure of the personal ageing experience. The association found between subjective age and mortality in study 3 suggests that older subjective age may be an early indicator of worsening health in older people. Cross-cultural comparison conducted in study 4 between Finnish and North-American age groups, showed that Finns typically had higher feel and ideal ages than their North-American counterparts. This suggests that socio-cultural context needs to be taken into account in research on subjective age. ...
PublisherUniversity of Jyväskylä
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- Väitöskirjat