Browsing Australian Research Council (ARC) by Subject "Ageing"
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ItemCohort Profile: The Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ALSA)(Oxford University Press, 2014-12-01) Luszcz, Mary Alice; Giles, Lynne Catherine; Anstey, Kaarin Jane; Browne-Yung, Kathryn; Walker, Ruth Ballance; Windsor, Timothy DIn response to the expressed need for more sophisticated and multidisciplinary data concerning ageing of the Australian population, the Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ALSA) was established some two decades ago in Adelaide, South Australia. At Baseline in 1992, 2087 participants living in the community or in residential care (ranging in age from 65 to 103 years) were interviewed in their place of residence (1031 or 49% women), including 565 couples. By 2013, 12 Waves had been completed; both face-to-face and telephone personal interviews were conducted. Data collected included self-reports of demographic details, health, depression, morbid conditions, hospitalization, gross mobility, physical performance, activities of daily living, lifestyle activities, social resources, exercise, education and income. Objective performance data for physical and cognitive function were also collected. The ALSA data are held at the Flinders Centre for Ageing Studies, Flinders University. Procedures for data access, information on collaborations, publications and other details can be found at [http://flinders.edu.au/sabs/fcas/]. ItemThe nature and correlates of self-esteem trajectories in late life(American Psychology Association, 2013-07) Wagner, Jenny; Gerstorf, Denis; Hoppmann, Christiane A; Luszcz, Mary AliceIs it possible to maintain a positive perspective on the self into very old age? Empirical research so far is rather inconclusive, with some studies reporting substantial declines in self-esteem late in life, whereas others report relative stability into old age. In this article, we examine long-term change trajectories in self-esteem in old age and very old age and link them to key correlates in the health, cognitive, self-regulatory, and social domains. To do so, we estimated growth curve models over chronological age and time-to-death using 18-year longitudinal data from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing (N = 1,215; age 65–103 years at first occasion; M = 78.8 years, SD = 5.9; women: 45% of sample). Results revealed that self-esteem was, on average, fairly stable with minor declines only emerging in advanced ages and at the very end of life. Examination of the vast between-person differences revealed that lower cognitive abilities and lower perceived control independently related to lower self-esteem. Also, lower cognitive abilities were associated with steeper age-related and mortality-related self-esteem decrements. In our discussion, we consider a variety of challenges that potentially shape self-esteem late in life and highlight the need for more mechanism-oriented research to better understand the pathways underlying stability and change in self-esteem. ItemSocial resource correlates of levels and time-to-death-related changes in late-life affect(American Psychology Association, 2015-03) Windsor, Timothy D; Gerstorf, Denis; Luszcz, Mary AliceLittle is known regarding how well psychosocial resources that promote well-being continue to correlate with affect into very late life. We examined social resource correlates of levels and time-to-death related changes in affect balance (an index of affective positivity) over 19 years among 1,297 by now deceased participants (aged 69 to 103 at first assessment, M = 80 years; 36% women) from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Aging. A steeper decline in affect balance was evident over a time-to-death metric compared with chronological age. Separating time-varying social resource predictors into between- and within-person components revealed several associations with level of affect balance, controlling for age at death, gender, functional disability, and global cognition. Between-person associations revealed that individuals who were more satisfied with family, and more socially active, expressed greater positivity compared with those who were less satisfied, and less socially active. Within-person associations indicated that participants reported higher positivity on occasions when they were more socially active. In addition, lower affect balance was associated with more frequent contact with children. Our results suggest that social engagement and satisfying relationships confer benefits for affective well-being that are retained into late life. However, our findings do not provide evidence to indicate that social resources protect against terminal decline in well-being. ItemSubjective beliefs, memory and functional health: change and associations over 12 years in the Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing(Karger, 2015-04) Luszcz, Mary Alice; Anstey, Kaarin Jane; Ghisletta, PaoloBackground: Neither subjective memory beliefs, nor remembering itself, can be isolated from the overall context in which one is aging, nor are the drivers of memory complaints well specified. Sense of control is an important self-regulatory resource that drives cognitive and physical health over the lifespan. Existing findings are equivocal concerning both the extent of stability or change in control beliefs over time as well as their contribution to changes in behavior. Objective: Subjective beliefs may play a role when engaging memory processes or identifying memory complaints, and it has been argued that self-regulatory potential in general may be limited by age-related changes in the domains of health and cognition. We aimed to examine trajectories of change and shed light on relationships among subjective beliefs and indicators of memory and functional health. Methods: Participants' data were drawn from four measurement occasions over up to a 12-year period (1992-2004) from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ALSA), a population-based study of older adults [age 65-100 years; mean age(SD) at the first and final occasion 78.2 (6.7) and 84.9 (4.9) years, respectively]. Participants completed three questionnaires assessing subjective beliefs concerning (1) memory knowledge and control, (2) health control, and (3) expectancy of control over a range of lifestyle situations. Memory comprised a recall composite. Functional health tapped mobility and disability. Latent growth curve models incorporated informative covariates (baseline age, gender, self-rated health, education, and chronic conditions). Results: While subjective memory control beliefs, but not subjective knowledge of memory tasks, improved over 12 years, neither was associated with level of memory performance. Knowledge of memory tasks was linked to a significant memory decline. Beliefs about memory, health, and lifestyle were interrelated. Declines in remembering and health were also coupled; moreover, changes in both were coupled with change in lifestyle control beliefs. Conclusions: This is the first examination of individual differences in changes in, and relationships among, psychological domains of subjective beliefs about memory, health, and lifestyle, and objective remembering and functional health in very late life. Findings point to a system of coupled changes in memory and health in late life that is related to underlying beliefs about control over lifestyle.