An Examination of the Properties and Clinical Utility of the Reactions to Ageing Questionnaire

Miss Michelle Tyack (). An Examination of the Properties and Clinical Utility of the Reactions to Ageing Questionnaire Professional Doctorate, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Miss Michelle Tyack
Thesis Title An Examination of the Properties and Clinical Utility of the Reactions to Ageing Questionnaire
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Thesis type Professional Doctorate
Supervisor Dr Nancy Pachana
Total pages 141
Abstract/Summary Abstract A person’s conception of their own ageing has been shown in previous research to have important psychological and social consequences. An understanding of ageing self-concepts is particularly important given the increasingly ageing Australian population. In this thesis, a review of the previous literature on the effects of self-concepts of ageing is provided, and the need for a measure to assess attitudes to ageing is discussed. While there are many tools that have been used to examine self-reported conceptions of one’s own ageing, the current study focuses on the only Australian instrument, the Reactions to Ageing Questionnaire (RAQ; Gething, 1994). Study one examines the relationship between socio-demographic, health, lifestyle, cognitive and psychological factors and the RAQ in a sample of 300 Australian women aged 40-79. Scores on psychological and cognitive scales best predicted scores on the RAQ. It was concluded that the RAQ may have limited utility, at the least in a sample of ageing Australian women, but that further research is required to determine the extent of this utility. Study two uses a confirmatory factor analysis strategy to replicate the findings of previous Australian research on the factor structure of the RAQ, using the same sample of women as study one. It also compares factor scores of participants with self-reported depression and anxiety in order to determine how to best interpret scores on the RAQ for clinical populations. The factor structure reported in past research was supported by the current sample, strengthening the psychometric properties of the RAQ. Factor scores on the RAQ, were, however, significantly correlated to self-reported anxiety and depression, suggesting that the use of total scores on the RAQ as a measure of attitudes to ageing is appropriate for individuals with anxiety and depression. Study two also examines the causes of attitudes to ageing by comparing scores on the RAQ to scores on a measure of attitudes to ageing and stereotypes of ageing. Scores on the RAQ were not related to either ageing stereotypes or knowledge of the ageing process, and it was concluded that further research is needed to establish potential causes of attitudes to ageing. Findings are discussed in terms of clinical use of the scale as well as future directions for research.
Keyword Ageing

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Created: Tue, 29 Jun 2010, 15:59:00 EST by Miss Michelle Tyack