Financial stress: How older adults' health is affected

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Authors
Herpolsheimer, Laura J.
Advisors
Burdsal, Charles A.
Issue Date
2015-05
Type
Dissertation
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Abstract

This study investigated the impact financial stress has on the quality of older adults' physical and mental health. Current economic trends and rapidly aging populations give rise to a number of possibilities for aging adults. Furthermore, older adults often face circumstances that contribute to higher stress levels and lead to experiencing the negative effects of stress, however the specific effects of financial stress are rather unknown by researchers. 201 community dwelling older adults responded to the 53-item questionnaire. Variables examined financial stress from a personal point of view, in addition to measuring self-rated health by the Short Form Health Survey (SF-12v2). Participants completed either an internet-based survey or a face-to-face interview. The results indicated that overall there is a strong correlation between one's financial stress level and their physical and mental self-rated health. This finding suggests that managing debt stress is of importance for older adults to address. While people focus on debt elimination and management, it is also of great importance to use health-promoting strategies to reduce the stress that arises because of financial obligations. These data should be used to develop stress prevention strategies aimed at the needs of the aging population.

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Thesis (Ph.D.)-- Wichita State University, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Psychology
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Wichita State University
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