Understanding the long-term connections between posttraumatic stress, subjective age, and successful aging among midlife and older adults

Translated title of the contribution: Understanding the long-term connections between posttraumatic stress, subjective age, and successful aging among midlife and older adults

Yuval Palgi, Amit Shrira, Sharon Avidor, Yaakov Hoffman, Ehud Bodner, Menachem Ben-Ezra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The nature of the reciprocal relationships between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, proportional subjective age, and their effects on successful aging are important issues that have been so far under-studied. Clarifying the relationships between these variables has many theoretical and practical implications for the understanding of how individuals age in the shadow of traumatic exposure. Objective: The present study examined the reciprocal relationships between PTSD symptoms and proportional subjective age in a longitudinal design, and how these variables predict successful aging. Method: Using in-region random digit dialling, we collected a stratified sample of community-dwelling older adults residing in the south of Israel. Of that sample, 132 midlife and older adults (T1 age range = 50–87, mean age = 65.84, SD = 9.12) were interviewed three times across a period of two years and four months (2014–2016). Participants completed measures of PTSD symptoms and proportional subjective age in the first two interviews (T1 and T2) and successful aging indices in the third interview (T3). PTSD symptoms and proportional subjective age measured at both T1 and T2 served as predictors and outcomes in a cross-lagged model and as predictors of successful aging at T3. Results: T1 PTSD symptoms predicted an older proportional subjective age at T2, whereas the reverse relationship (i.e. T1 proportional subjective age to T2 PTSD symptoms) was non-significant. Moreover, higher PTSD symptoms and an older proportional subjective age at T2 predicted lower successful aging at T3. Conclusions: In addition to clarifying the temporal sequencing of PTSD and proportional subjective age, the study further suggests that PTSD and proportional subjective age identity could each render midlife and older adults more susceptible to less successful aging. Accordingly, we advocate to further explore the mechanisms underlining these complicated relationships.

Translated title of the contributionUnderstanding the long-term connections between posttraumatic stress, subjective age, and successful aging among midlife and older adults
Original languageEnglish
Article number1583523
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotraumatology
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Missile attacks
  • PTSD
  • older adults
  • subjective age
  • successful aging

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