The psychometric assessment of competence in ambulatory, well elderly.
AuthorGoss, Anita Judith.
KeywordsOlder people -- Psychology
Adjustment (Psychology) in old age
Life change events in old age
Older people -- Services for
Mental health services.
AdvisorAtwood, Jan R.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was twofold: to test the Competence Model for Normal Aging and to generate valid and reliable indices of mental health outcomes in elderly clients. A correlational descriptive design accommodated the psychometric assessment of the instruments with a causal modeling methodology. The relationship between competence and self-esteem was the primary focus. Theoretical model testing was used to test the causal relationships between competence and three estimates of cognition: causal attributions, self-efficacy, and value. Associated demographic variables, age, and gender, were included in the model. Well elders (n = 137) living independently in Tucson participated in the study by completing 9 instruments within a 40-minute testing period. The mean age of the group was 73 (sd = 7.9). A quarter of the sample was at least 80 years old. All participants were caucasian, with more than twice the number of females than males. Most participants were married or widowed. The instruments met validity and reliability criteria in varying degrees. Hypothesis 1 was supported in both the separate success and failure models and the total sample theoretical model. Self-efficacy (β = .48) and value (β = .27) predicted competence (R² = .42). The social subscale of competence was strongly predicted by the same variables (β = .53, β = .26; R² = .39). The same predictors were evident in the total sample theoretical model (β = .52; β = .25; R² = .38). Hypothesis 2 was partially supported. Self-efficacy predicted total competence (β = .49; R² = .30) and the social dimension of competence (β = .59; R² = .32). Hypothesis 2 was minimally supported in the total sample theoretical model by self-efficacy (β = .29) predicting the social component of competence (R² = .44). Hypothesis 3 was most strongly supported. Competence predicted self-esteem under multiple conditions (βs averaged .43). The associated demographic and gender variables made minimal contributions to the model, except under failure conditions. Not being married and being a male negatively impacted upon competence (β = -.21; β = -.39; R² = .31). Both theoretical and empirical model results have similar explained variances. The theoretical model provided key information regarding the process of self-esteem, and the empirical model provided a guide for clinicians to measure mental health outcomes.