Older adults better at anticipating stressful events: Study

Older adults are better at anticipating stressful events at home.

How age affects our stress reactions

A recent study has found that older adults are better than younger adults at anticipating stressful events at home – but older adults are not as good at using those predictions to reduce the adverse impacts of the stress.

The researchers considered home stress as relating to chores, home maintenance and having too much to do around the house, according to associate professor of psychology at North Carolina State University Shevaun Neupert.

“Older adults – over the age of 60 – predicted and experienced more stressful events at home than younger adults. However, when younger adults – under the age of 36 – did predict these stressful events, those stressors had less of an adverse impact on their moods,” Assoc Prof Neupert said.

The study involved having 107 adults aged 18–36 and 116 adults aged 60–90 complete a survey on eight consecutive days related to stressors, mood, the extent to which they predicted experiencing stress the following day, and how – if at all – they were using anticipatory coping mechanisms to prepare for those stressors.

“We found that accurately predicting home stressors had very little impact on the mood of older adults,” Assoc Prof Neupert explained.

“This really highlights the distinctions between age groups when it comes to predicting and responding to stress in particular contexts.

“For example, this study also looked at stress in the workplace, and we found little difference across age groups. But in the home, the differences were dramatic.”

Read the full study.

What do you think? Are you good at predicting stressful events at home? How do you handle stress at home?

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    COMMENTS

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    Linda
    27th Apr 2018
    10:56am
    The reference to the research study about home based stressors and anticipatory coping skills has one major design flaw as far as I can see. The younger group covers an 18 year range and the older group covers a 30 year range! How can that be a reasonable comparison! To categorise all older people from 60 upwards as one homogeneous group is absurd! Though currently it is ubiquitous. It's time that changed.
    Nan Norma
    27th Apr 2018
    11:23am
    I've often found that 60-65 yrs and over, are counted as one age group, really foolish as, like you say, Linda, there's a whole world of difference.
    JB
    27th Apr 2018
    11:11am
    I just took a one year old to the shops and out for a coffee ! By time I got him in the car seat ,did what I had to do had a 30 second coffee then back home to put him down for a nap I will be pleased when his mum comes home as I need to go home and have a rest ha ha ha but I love him dearly lol


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