Impostorism, subjective age, and perceived health among aging veterans

Yael Lahav*, Jacob Y. Stein, Rachel Hasson, Zahava Solomon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Rationale: Aging veterans often suffer from increased vulnerability, manifested among other things in old subjective age and poor perceived health. Though research has documented the contribution of trauma related variables to these negative appraisals, their associations with impostorism (i.e., the subjective experience that one is less adequate than others perceive) remain unexamined. Objective: Filling this gap, this study explored the relations between impostorism and subjective age and perceived health among aging combat veterans. Method: The study was conducted among 146 Israeli veterans of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Participants were assessed for combat exposure, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms, and health-related behaviors during middle adulthood (1991; T1), and for subjective age, perceived health, impostorism, PTSD symptoms, and depressive symptoms during old age (2018; T2). Results: The veterans' impostorism was associated with relatively old subjective age and poor perceived health, above and beyond the effects of age, health-related behaviors, combat exposure, depressive symptoms, and PTSD symptoms. Conclusions: The current results suggest that impostorism may contribute to veterans' stress and negatively affect their evaluations regarding age and health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113082
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume258
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Aging veterans
  • Combat
  • Impostorism
  • Perceived health
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Subjective age

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