DOES SEVERITY OF DISEASE IMPACT ATTITUDE TOWARD ONE'S OWN AGING?

TitleDOES SEVERITY OF DISEASE IMPACT ATTITUDE TOWARD ONE'S OWN AGING?
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2024
AuthorsChang, DJung
Academic DepartmentDepartment of Sociology and Gerontology
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages112
UniversityMiami University
CityOxford, Ohio
KeywordsATOA, Diseases, Mortality rates, Older Adults
Abstract

Attitude toward own aging (ATOA) is a subjective perception of one’s own aging
experience that can be influenced by age, health problems, and ageist stereotypes. The
increasing prevalence of chronic diseases attributable largely to the growing population
of older adults has raised concerns about how these illnesses may adversely affect older
adults. Existing evidence indicates a negative association between the number of diseases
and ATOA, and negative ATOA also impacts health and increases mortality rates,
thereby creating a vicious cycle. However, research on how changes in the number and
general severity of diseases may affect ATOA remains limited. This study explored the
relationship between the number of diseases, change in disease number, and the severity
of diseases and ATOA among individuals aged 65 and above (n = 2,324) using data from
the Health and Retirement Study. A change model was used to examine the relationship
between changes in disease count and ATOA within the same cohort for the 2012 and
2016 waves. To investigate whether disease severity affected ATOA, the Charlson
Comorbidity Index (CCI) was utilized as a measure of disease burden, and multiple linear
regression was used to examine the relationships between variables.
There was a statistically significant negative association between the number of diseases
and ATOA among participants, with a greater number of diseases leading to a more
negative ATOA score. Additionally, the relationship between the change in disease count
between 2012 and 2016 with ATOA was statistically significant. Furthermore, older
adults with a higher CCI score tended to have more negative ATOA after a threshold.
These findings suggest that number of diseases, change in disease number, and severity
of diseases have a detrimental effect on ATOA. Future research should focus on longerterm follow-up investigations to enhance understanding of the complex relationship
between health, disease burden, and ATOA. Also, exploring the relationship between the
change in disease count and ATOA can enhance our understanding of ATOA-related
research and unveil potential avenues for future investigations. Such investigations will
provide valuable insights that will facilitate development of interventions to improve
ATOA and overall well-being among older adults.

URLhttps://etd.ohiolink.edu/acprod/odb_etd/ws/send_file/send?accession=miami1712658312004887&disposition=inline
Citation Key13892