The association between negative attitudes toward aging and mental health among middle-aged and older gay and heterosexual men in Israel

Geva Shenkman, Kfir Ifrah, Dov Shmotkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: The association between negative attitudes toward aging and mental health (indicated by depressive symptoms, neuroticism, and happiness) was explored among Israeli middle-aged and older gay and heterosexual men. Method: In a community-dwelling sample, 152 middle-aged and older gay men and 120 middle-aged and older heterosexual men at the age range of 50–87 (M = 59.3, SD = 7.5) completed measures of negative attitudes toward aging, depressive symptoms, neuroticism, and happiness. Results: After controlling for socio-demographic characteristics, the association between negative attitudes toward aging and mental health was moderated by sexual orientation, demonstrating that negative attitudes toward aging were more strongly associated with adverse mental health concomitants among middle-aged and older gay men compared to middle-aged and older heterosexual men. Conclusions: The findings suggest vulnerability of middle-aged and older gay men to risks of aging, as their mental health is markedly linked with their negative attitudes toward aging. This vulnerability should be addressed by clinicians and counselors who work with middle-aged and older gay men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-511
Number of pages9
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2018

Keywords

  • Negative attitudes toward aging
  • mental health
  • middle-aged and older gay men
  • neuroticism
  • sexual orientation

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