The Role of the Hostile-World Scenario in Predicting Physical and Mental Health Outcomes in Older Adults

Dov Shmotkin, Sharon Avidor, Amit Shrira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The hostile-world scenario (HWS) denotes a personal belief system regarding threats to one's physical and mental integrity. We examined whether the HWS predicted health among older adults. Method: The Israeli branch of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE-Israel) provided data on 1,286 participants, aged 50+, interviewed in two waves 4 years apart. A special measure assembled items pertinent to the HWS throughout the SHARE survey. Nine outcomes indicated physical health (e.g., activities of daily living, medical conditions) and mental health (e.g., depressive symptoms, satisfaction with life). Results: The HWS at Wave 1 predicted all physical and mental outcomes at Wave 2, except cognitive functioning, beyond effects of sociodemographics and the respective outcome's baseline at Wave 1. This predictive effect was stronger among older participants. Discussion: The results support the conception of the HWS as a psychological monitor that senses approaching functional declines in later life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)863-889
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Volume28
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016

Keywords

  • hostile-world scenario
  • longitudinal prediction
  • mental health
  • older adults
  • physical health

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