Special Issue "Understanding Older Adult Resilience from a Life-course Perspective"

A special issue of Behavioral Sciences (ISSN 2076-328X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Melinda Heinz
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, Upper Iowa University, 605 Washington Street, PO Box 1857, Fayette, IA 52142, USA
Interests: technology use; life events; death and dying; longevity; gerontology education
Dr. Jinmyoung Cho
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Center for Applied Health Research, Baylor Scott & White Health, 2401 S31st St., MS-01-501, Temple, TX 76508, USA
Interests: healthy aging among the oldest-old; healthcare utilization; longevity; advanced research methods

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue, on “Understanding Older Adult Resilience from a Life-course Perspective”, invites articles on original research, brief reports, and practice concepts that explore resilience in older adulthood from a life-course perspective. Society often associates later life with decline and detriment; however, previous research has indicated that older adults are quite resilient and skilled at adapting to adversity and challenges throughout life. This Special Issue hopes to share more information about the factors that influence resilience in older adulthood. Specifically, how can we learn more about psychosocial and physical resilience in older adulthood by viewing it through a life-course lens? It is possible that early life experiences play a significant role in how individuals cope with adversity throughout their lives (e.g., living through tumultuous historical periods and coping with loss); or how some individuals maintain or regain function in the face of age-related losses or diseases. Therefore, considering resilience from a life-course perspective may provide unique insight into this attribute in older adulthood. Topics may include (but are not limited to) transitions and life events that, although challenging, ultimately results in resiliency, gold standards to validate measures of resilience, sources of support and strength for older adults, social roles that increase resilience, how older adults interpret resilience, how resilience impacts well-being and life satisfaction in late life, and interventions or support at multiple system levels to optimize resilience in later life.

Dr. Melinda Heinz
Dr. Jinmyoung Cho
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Behavioral Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Older adult sources of strength
  • Construct of resilience
  • Adapting to adversity and challenges throughout life
  • Predictors and vulnerabilities for resilience
  • Strategies to maximize resilience at multiple systems in later life

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Secular and Religious Social Support Better Protect Blacks than Whites against Depressive Symptoms
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(5), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8050046 - 04 May 2018
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3624
Abstract
Purpose: Although the protective effect of social support against depression is well known, limited information exists on racial differences in this association. The current study examined Black-White differences in the effects of religious and secular emotional social support on depressive symptoms in a [...] Read more.
Purpose: Although the protective effect of social support against depression is well known, limited information exists on racial differences in this association. The current study examined Black-White differences in the effects of religious and secular emotional social support on depressive symptoms in a national sample of older adults in the United States. Methods: With a longitudinal prospective design, the Religion, Aging and Health Survey, 2001–2004, followed 1493 Black (n = 734) and White (n = 759) elderly individuals (age 66 and older) for three years. Race, demographics (age and gender), socio-economics (education and marital status) and frequency of church attendance were measured at baseline in 2001. Secular social support, religious social support, chronic medical conditions and depressive symptoms [8- item Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression scale (CES-D)] were measured in 2004. Multiple linear regression models were used for data analysis. Results: In the pooled sample, secular and religious social support were both protective against depressive symptoms, net of all covariates. Race interacted with secular (β = −0.62 for interaction) and religious (β = −0.21 for interaction) social support on baseline depressive symptoms (p < 0.05 for both interactions), suggesting larger protections for Blacks compared to Whites. In race-specific models, the regression weight for the effect of secular social support on depressive symptoms was larger for Blacks (β = −0.64) than Whites (β = −0.16). Conclusion: We found Black—White differences in the protective effects of secular and religious social support against depressive symptoms. Blacks seem to benefit more from the same level of emotional social support, regardless of its source, compared to Whites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Older Adult Resilience from a Life-course Perspective)
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Article
Resilience in Elders of the Sardinian Blue Zone: An Explorative Study
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(3), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8030030 - 26 Feb 2018
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4141
Abstract
Background: older adults from the Sardinian Blue Zone self-report low depressive symptoms and high psychological well-being. However, the role of dispositional resilience as a determinant of these characteristics is unknown. Objectives: the current study had three aims. First, to investigate associations [...] Read more.
Background: older adults from the Sardinian Blue Zone self-report low depressive symptoms and high psychological well-being. However, the role of dispositional resilience as a determinant of these characteristics is unknown. Objectives: the current study had three aims. First, to investigate associations among several putative predictors, including dispositional resilience and three established markers of positive and negative mental health. Second, to determine if gender differences in dispositional resilience, independent of age and cognitive impairment, are present in this population. Third, to examine the relative importance of the predictors of self-reported mental health and well-being. Methods: 160 elders were recruited in the Sardinian Blue Zone. The participants completed self-report measures of dispositional resilience, satisfaction with social ties, physical health, depressive symptoms, and psychological well-being. Results: trait resilience was significantly associated with predictors and markers of mental health. Males had significantly greater trait resilience. In regression analyses, dispositional resilience and satisfaction with social ties were significant predictors of all markers of mental health. Other factors were significantly associated only with certain markers. Conclusions: trait resilience and strong social ties appear to be key determinants of the high mental health of Sardinian Blue Zone older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Older Adult Resilience from a Life-course Perspective)
Article
In Their Own Words: How Family Carers of People with Dementia Understand Resilience
Behav. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs7030057 - 21 Aug 2017
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 5120
Abstract
There is a growing body of research on resilience in family carers of people with dementia, but carers’ voices are noticeably absent from it. The aim of this study was to explore carers’ definitions of resilience and their opinions on the factors associated [...] Read more.
There is a growing body of research on resilience in family carers of people with dementia, but carers’ voices are noticeably absent from it. The aim of this study was to explore carers’ definitions of resilience and their opinions on the factors associated with resilience. Twenty-one in-depth interviews were conducted in Australia with people who were currently, or had previously been, caring for a family member with dementia. Transcripts were analysed thematically and three themes emerged: the presence of resilience, the path to resilience, and characteristics of the resilient carer. Although carers struggled to define resilience, the vast majority considered themselves resilient. Carers identified a range of traits, values, environments, resources, and behaviours associated with resilience, but there was no consensus on the relative importance or causal nature of these factors. Carers also considered resilience to be domain- and context-specific, but did not agree on whether resilience was a trait or a process. These findings highlight both the importance of including carers’ voices in resilience research and the limitations of the extant literature. There is much to be done to develop a field of carer resilience research that is theoretically sound, methodologically rigorous, and reflects the lived experience of carers. A model is provided to prompt future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Older Adult Resilience from a Life-course Perspective)
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