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Aging and Negotiating Social Stigma: Stereotypes and Stairs

Aging and Negotiating Social Stigma: Stereotypes and Stairs

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Title: Aging and Negotiating Social Stigma: Stereotypes and Stairs
Author: Stone, Rachael Chana
Abstract: Negative age-stereotypes can foster biopsychosocial health consequences within older adults; however, there is a paucity of research examining self-efficacy (a determinant of activity avoidance or uptake), and no research exploring stair navigation performances after exposure to age-stereotypes. The present work aimed to examine the influence of age-stereotype priming on stair navigation, while exploring self-efficacy as a moderator in older adults.
Older adults aged 50 years or greater were voluntarily recruited within the Greater Toronto Area. In total, 130 older adults participated, of which 90 represented the healthy sub-sample and 40 represented those with osteoarthritis. Psychological questionnaires and stair navigation assessments were completed after exposure to age-stereotype primes.
The following manuscripts act as independent and connected segments toward examining stereotype priming, stair navigation, and self-efficacy in older adults. Manuscript one illustrates the development of effective stereotype primes and statistical models for analyzing the effects of age-stereotypes on stair navigation and self-efficacy for stairs. The results confirmed variables and statistical methodologies to be used in further analyses, with implications for streamlining future research. Stemming from this work, manuscript two and three employ these models to examine the influence of age-stereotype priming on self-efficacy for stairs in healthy older adults from baseline to post-exposure, as well as the influence of priming on stair navigation. The results suggested negatively primed older adults experienced declines in self-efficacy for stairs, while displaying slower stair navigation compared to those positively primed. The implications speak to developing priming as an intervention tool to mitigate negative primes and enhance task-specific functionality and well-being in healthy older adults.
Building from these results, manuscript four compared the influence of stereotype priming on self-efficacy for stairs and stair navigation among healthy adults and those with osteoarthritis, the most common age-related condition. The results suggested a complex relationship regarding prime exposure and the health status of older adults. These findings have implications for developing primes for special populations to facilitate performance enhancements.
Overall, these findings have implications for promoting stereotype research efficiency, while acknowledging the limitations that remain to be studied by future stereotype research regarding healthy adults and those with chronic conditions.
Subject: Biomechanics
Keywords: Aging
Stereotype priming
Stereotype boost
Stereotype threat
Age stigma
Social stigma
Stair self-efficacy
Task self-efficacy
Stair navigation
Aging self-perceptions
Older adults
Psychological well-being
Biopsychosocial well-being
Physical health
Psychophysical health
Activities of daily living
Successful aging
Type: Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Rights: Author owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/33511
Supervisor: Baker, Joseph
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Program: Kinesiology & Health Science
Exam date: 2017-01-09
Publish on: 2017-07-27

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