KeywordsAging -- Psychological aspects.
Aging -- Physiological aspects.
Body temperature -- Psychological aspects.
Happiness -- Physiological aspects.
Satisfaction -- Physiological aspects.
Committee ChairPergrin, Jessie V.
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 determine if a relationship existed in healthy older adults between two psychological and physiological variables. The conceptual framework suggested that a relationship of psychological and physiological functions would facilitate positive adjustment to the stressors of aging. Life satisfaction represented psychological functioning; body temperature represented physiological functioning; body temperature represented physiological functioning. Because some evidence exists that normal temperature for older adults is lower than 98.6°F, an additional purpose was to determine if the sample had a normal body temperature lower than 98.6°F. Subjects were 174 healthy Caucasians aged 60-97. None were taking antibiotic, phenotiazine, cortisone, or reserpine containing drugs. Life satisfaction was measured using Neugarten's Life Satisfaction Index A (LSIA); body temperature was measured with an IVAC 821 oral electronic thermometer. Subjects rated perceived health on the Health Status Scale (HSS), and enumerated the past year's stressful life events on a modification of Holmes and Rahe's Social Readjustment Rating Questionnaire (SRRQ). Data were collected in winter and summer to determine if body temperature was different based on season. Statistical significance was p = .05. An ANOVA revealed no significant differences between winter and summer groups. The Pearson product-moment revealed no correlation between LSIA and TEMP. LSIA was significantly correlated with HSS and AGE; that is, subjects who were more satisfied with their lives considered themselves healthier, and were younger than other subjects. TEMP was significantly related only to SEX, indicating that females had higher temperatures than males. The mean temperature for all subjects, 98.24°F, was statistically different from 98.6°F, as were winter (98.32°F) and summer (98.17°F) group means. No difference was found between winter and summer mean temperatures, indicating that season of the year did not affect body temperatures in this sample. It was concluded that no psychophysiological relationship was found because body temperature may index only illness, not health. The mean temperature was not clinically different from 98.6°F most likely because these subjects were not taking drugs known to affect body temperature. A recommendation was that nurses evaluate each older client's temperature against his own normal, versus a universal normal.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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