With age comes peace and calm, study confirms

May 20th, 2008 - 8:49 pm ICT by admin  

New York, May 20 (IANS) We’ve always had a sense that the elderly are more at peace with themselves. Now a scientific study confirms this. The study, by University of Texas researchers, contends this is because aging is associated with more positive than negative emotions, more passive than active emotions.

The study, by Catherine Ross and John Mirowsky of the university’s Population Research Centre, examined 1,450 responses from an earlier survey to report that participants over 60 had more feelings of ease and contentment than those younger.

The study, published in the journal Social Science and Medicine, differs from previous research on ageing and emotions which have focused on negatives like depression.

“The passive/positive combination reveals that contentment, calm and ease are some of the most common emotions people feel as they age,” Ross said. “Emotions that are both active and negative, such as anxiety and anger, are especially unlikely among the elderly.”

Participants responded to range of statements such as “On how many days in the past seven days have you… felt sad, felt lonely, felt worried, felt angry, felt calm, felt at ease, felt contented, felt happy, felt excited about something, felt proud, felt embarrassed, felt ashamed”.

The researchers then grouped the emotions in four categories: active, passive, positive and negative.

Secondary findings reveal women had more negative than positive emotions, and more passive than active emotions than men. Also, participants with higher income and education levels had significantly more positive emotions than those with lower income and education levels.

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