Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Boosting self-esteem prevents health problems for seniors

Date:
March 12, 2014
Source:
Concordia University
Summary:
The importance of boosting self-esteem is normally associated with the trials and tribulations of adolescence. But new research shows that it's even more important for older adults to maintain and improve upon those confidence levels as they enter their twilight years. "Improving self-esteem provides real health benefits in seniors," says the lead author. "The ultimate solution may be to prevent self esteem from declining."

The importance of boosting self-esteem is normally associated with the trials and tribulations of adolescence. But new research from Concordia University shows that it's even more important for older adults to maintain and improve upon those confidence levels as they enter their twilight years. That's because boosting self-esteem can help buffer potential health threats typically associated with the transition into older adulthood.

Related Articles


A new study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, led by psychology researchers Sarah Liu and Carsten Wrosch from Concordia University's Centre for Research in Human Development found that boosting self-esteem can buffer potential health threats in seniors.

While previous research focused on self-esteem levels, Liu and Wrosch examined changes to self-esteem within each individual over time. They found that if an individual's self-esteem decreased, the stress hormone cortisol increased -- and vice versa. This association was particularly strong for participants who already had a history of stress or depression.

The research team met with 147 adults aged 60 and over to measure their cortisol levels, self-esteem, stress, and symptoms of depression every 24 months over four years. Self-esteem was measured through standard questions, such as whether the participant felt worthless. The study also took into account personal and health factors like economic status, whether the participant was married or single, and mortality risk.

Results showed that maintaining or even improving self-esteem could help prevent health problems. "Because self-esteem is associated with psychological wellbeing and physical health, raising self-esteem would be an ideal way to help prevent health problems later in life," says Liu.

While it's easier said than done to tell an older adult to "go out and make more friends, or simply enhance their feelings of self-worth," says Liu from a practical standpoint, such steps improve self-esteem.

"Improving self-esteem provides real health benefits in seniors," says Liu. "The ultimate solution may be to prevent self esteem from declining."

While this study looked at cortisol levels, Liu says future research could examine immune function to further illuminate how increases in self-esteem can contribute to patterns of healthy aging.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Concordia University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sarah Y. Liu, Carsten Wrosch, Gregory E. Miller, Jens C. Pruessner. Self-esteem change and diurnal cortisol secretion in older adulthood. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2014; 41: 111 DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2013.12.010

Cite This Page:

Concordia University. "Boosting self-esteem prevents health problems for seniors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140312132623.htm>.
Concordia University. (2014, March 12). Boosting self-esteem prevents health problems for seniors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140312132623.htm
Concordia University. "Boosting self-esteem prevents health problems for seniors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140312132623.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins