Antecedents and consequences of perceived memory adequacy in elders.
AuthorCromwell, Sandra Lynn.
KeywordsMemory in old age.
Memory -- Age factors.
Older people -- Mental health.
Committee ChairPhillips, Linda 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 to test one theoretical explanation for elders' perceived current adequacy of everyday remembering, and the antecedent perceptions, values and beliefs, and consequent feelings related to this perception. Fourteen hypotheses, deduced from the theory of subjective forgetfulness in elders (Cromwell, 1991), tested one theoretical explanation for the relationships among: Personal Importance of Remembering, Perceived Seriousness of Forgetting, Perceived Frequency of Forgetting, Belief in a Relationship between Aging and Memory Decline, Belief in a Personal Health Risk for Memory Decline, Perceived Current Adequacy of Everyday Remembering, Distress about Current Forgetting, Concern about Future Forgetting and Self Esteem in elders. Multiple regression analysis of the data obtained from 202 community based elders, age 65 to 97, supported the assertions that perceiving self to forget frequently negatively influenced elders' judgments of their current memory adequacy and increased their distress about current forgetting. Believing that one had risk factors for memory decline influenced the current distress experienced about forgetting, and the level of concern about future memory. Present concerns about forgetting, in response to perceived frequency of forgetting and perceived risks, influenced in part the degree to which the present situation was viewed as a warning sign of potential progressive future decline. Concerns about memory and forgetting influenced elders' level of self esteem. Intriguing differences in the relationships among antecedent perceptions, values and beliefs, and consequent feelings about self were discovered between older and younger elders, and between elders who highly valued remembering and those for whom remembering was of lesser importance. Future research to expand our understanding of the subjective experience of forgetfulness in elders and potential future intervention research to increase perceived memory adequacy and decrease present and future concerns were proposed.