Behavioral correlates of anxiety in well-functioning older adults

Losada, Andres, Marquez-Gonzalez, Maria, Pachana, Nancy A., Wetherell, Julie L., Fernandez-Fernandez, Virginia, Nogales-Gonzalez, Celia and Ruiz-Diaz, Miguel (2014) Behavioral correlates of anxiety in well-functioning older adults. International Psychogeriatrics, 27 7: 1135-1146. doi:10.1017/S1041610214001148

Author Losada, Andres
Marquez-Gonzalez, Maria
Pachana, Nancy A.
Wetherell, Julie L.
Fernandez-Fernandez, Virginia
Nogales-Gonzalez, Celia
Ruiz-Diaz, Miguel
Title Behavioral correlates of anxiety in well-functioning older adults
Journal name International Psychogeriatrics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1041-6102
Publication date 2014-07-03
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S1041610214001148
Volume 27
Issue 7
Start page 1135
End page 1146
Total pages 12
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Research on the behavioral correlates of anxiety in older adults is sparse. The aim of this study was to explore the association of anxiety with behavioral patterns defined by health, activity, emotional and social variables.

Methods: A convenience sample of 395 older adults completed measures of health, activity, emotions, social variables and experiential avoidance. Cross-sectional data were analysed using cluster analysis.

Results: Five clusters were identified: active healthy, healthy, active vulnerable, lonely inactive and frail lonely. Participants in the active healthy and healthy clusters showed the highest scores on health variables (vitality and physical function), and adaptive scores on the rest of variables. They also reported the lowest scores on anxiety and included the lowest number of cases with clinically significant anxiety levels. Active vulnerable showed high scores on social support, leisure activities and capitalization on them but low scores in vitality and physical functioning. Participants in the lonely inactive cluster reported the highest mean score in experiential avoidance and high scores on boredom and loneliness, and low scores on social support, leisure activities capitalizing on pleasant activities and health variables. Frail lonely represent a particularly vulnerable profile of participants, similar to that of lonely inactive, but with significantly lower scores on health variables and higher scores on boredom and hours watching TV.

Conclusions: Anxiety in older adults is not only linked to poor health, but also to dysfunctional social behavior, loneliness, boredom and experiential avoidance. Maladaptive profiles of older adults with regard to these variables have been identified.
Keyword Anxiety
Experiential avoidance
Older adults
Pleasant activities
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online ahead of print 3 July 2014.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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