Older adults report more sadness and less jealously than young adults in response to worry induction

Gould, Christine E. , Gerolimatos, Lindsay A. , Beaudreau, Sherry A. , Mashal, Nehjla and Edelstein, Barry A. (2017) Older adults report more sadness and less jealously than young adults in response to worry induction. Aging and Mental Health, 1-7. doi:10.1080/13607863.2016.1277975


Author Gould, Christine E.
Gerolimatos, Lindsay A.
Beaudreau, Sherry A.
Mashal, Nehjla
Edelstein, Barry A.
Title Older adults report more sadness and less jealously than young adults in response to worry induction
Journal name Aging and Mental Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1364-6915
1360-7863
Publication date 2017-01-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/13607863.2016.1277975
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Start page 1
End page 7
Total pages 7
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Abstract The present study examined age differences in descriptions of the experience of worry and worry content.

Twenty-eight older and 25 younger adults participated in an experimental manipulation of worry (i.e. 5-minute worry induction). Participants identified their three main worries and completed an emotion checklist before and after the induction.

After the induction, younger adults endorsed feeling fearful, impatient, and irritated, whereas older adults endorsed feeling tense or worrying. Older adults were more likely than younger adults to report feeling sad (χ2(53) = 7.52, p = .01), whereas younger adults were marginally more likely to report feeling jealous (χ2(53) = 4.34, p = .05). With regards to worry content, older adults worried more about community/world affairs (χ2 = 6.59, p = .01), whereas younger adults worried more about school (χ2 = 17.61, p < .001). Only age differences in worry about school remained significant after applying the Holm-Bonferroni correction.

Following a worry induction, older and younger adults endorsed a wide variety of negative affect beyond the typical emotions associated with worry. Greater sadness experienced by older compared with younger adults highlights the importance of considering negative affect states, particularly depression, when working with older adult worriers.
Formatted abstract
Objectives: The present study examined age differences in descriptions of the experience of worry and worry content.

Method: Twenty-eight older and 25 younger adults participated in an experimental manipulation of worry (i.e. 5-minute worry induction). Participants identified their three main worries and completed an emotion checklist before and after the induction.

Results: After the induction, younger adults endorsed feeling fearful, impatient, and irritated, whereas older adults endorsed feeling tense or worrying. Older adults were more likely than younger adults to report feeling sad (χ2(53) = 7.52, p = .01), whereas younger adults were marginally more likely to report feeling jealous (χ2(53) = 4.34, p = .05). With regards to worry content, older adults worried more about community/world affairs (χ2 = 6.59, p = .01), whereas younger adults worried more about school (χ2 = 17.61, p < .001). Only age differences in worry about school remained significant after applying the Holm-Bonferroni correction.

Conclusion: Following a worry induction, older and younger adults endorsed a wide variety of negative affect beyond the typical emotions associated with worry. Greater sadness experienced by older compared with younger adults highlights the importance of considering negative affect states, particularly depression, when working with older adult worriers.
Keyword Age differences
Aging
Anxiety
Emotions
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID IK2 RX001478
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Psychology Publications
 
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