Do past experiences predict agitation in nursing home residents?

J. Cohen-Mansfield, M. S. Marx

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The relationships between the three syndromes of agitated behavior (aggressive, physically nonaggressive, and verbally agitated) and three aspects of past personality (exposure to stress, history of a mental disorder, and leisure habits) were examined in 408 nursing home residents. Results showed that residents who had experienced the following stressful events during their lives - a life-threatening experience, separation from spouse, retirement, financial problems, and immigration - exhibited more physically nonaggressive behaviors (such as, pacing). Residents who had not experienced the stressful event of relocation manifested more aggressive (e.g., hitting) and physically nonaggressive behaviors. Neither history of a mental disorder nor past preferences for leisure activities were found to be related to agitated behaviors manifested by nursing home residents. Possible explanations for these results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-294
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Institute of Mental HealthR01MH040758


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