Healthy Ways of Coping With Losses Related to the Aging Process
Despite an increasingly aging population,there is not yet enough knowledge available on the psychological resources that promote a state of well-being in old age in juxtaposition with the losses experienced at this stage of life. Given the importance of coping to optimal mental health,healthy ways of coping with losses related to the aging process are identified and characterized. Thirty-six semistructured in-depth interviews were carried out with adults aged 65 years and older in order to understand experiences that they assessed as losses associated with aging. Their ways of coping and their levels of subjective well-being were documented. The qualitative analysis yielded was complemented by quantitative analysis. Six types of losses were identified: health and/or physical capacity,quality of emotional relationships,death of loved ones,social integration,quality of life in a material sense,and quality of life in a cognitive sense. As determined by both the qualitative and quantitative analysis,the way of coping most strongly linked with high levels of subjective well-being was that of accommodation,followed by different ways of coping consistent with each type of loss. Healthy ways of coping are essential to maintaining subjective well-being in old age,with the most effective being identified. The mode of observation employed may be applied and improved in future research studies. Meanwhile,the results are relevant to prevention and intervention initiatives targeted at the mental health of elderly populations.
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Institución: Universidad Alberto HurtadoFacultad: PsicologíaUnidad: PsicologíaInstitución: Universidad Alberto Hurtado