Psychological Resilience and the Onset of Activity of Daily Living Disability Among Older Adults in China: A Nationwide Longitudinal Analysis

Yiqing Yang, Ming Wen
Journals of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 2015, 70 (3): 470-80

OBJECTIVES: This study explores the influence of psychological resilience on the onset of activities of daily living (ADL) disability among Chinese older adults and examines whether this association varies by age.

METHOD: Using a sample of 11,112 older adults from 2 waves of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey, collected in 2002 and 2005, this study examines whether higher levels of psychological resilience (measured by a 5-item scale) predict lower risk of ADL incidence during a 3-year follow-up and whether this effect varies by age.

RESULTS: Higher levels of resilience at the baseline are significantly associated with reduced risk of becoming ADL disabled during the 3-year follow-up period, independent of baseline sociodemographic characteristics, family support, and health. Moreover, resilience by age interaction is detected. Higher levels of resilience are more protective against the onset of disability for the younger old (aged 65-84) than the oldest old (aged 85 and older).

DISCUSSION: Among older adults in China, psychological resilience is a protective factor against ADL disability, and the benefits are particularly significant for older adults younger than 85 years.

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