Population aging increases the need for knowledge on positive aspects of aging, and contributions of older people to their own wellbeing and that of others. We defined active aging as an individual's striving for elements of wellbeing with activities as per their goals, abilities and opportunities. This study examines associations of health, health behaviors, health literacy and functional abilities, environmental and social support with active aging and wellbeing. We will develop and validate assessment methods for physical activity and physical resilience suitable for research on older people, and examine their associations with active aging and wellbeing. We will examine cohort effects on functional phenotypes underlying active aging and disability.
For this population-based study, we plan to recruit 1000 participants aged 75, 80 or 85 years living in central Finland, by drawing personal details from the population register. Participants are interviewed on active aging, wellbeing, disability, environmental and social support, mobility, health behavior and health literacy. Physical activity and heart rate are monitored for 7 days with wearable sensors. Functional tests include hearing, vision, muscle strength, reaction time, exercise tolerance, mobility, and cognitive performance. Clinical examination by a nurse and physician includes an electrocardiogram, tests of blood pressure, orthostatic regulation, arterial stiffness, and lung function, as well as a review of chronic and acute conditions and prescribed medications. C-reactive protein, small blood count, cholesterol and vitamin D are analyzed from blood samples. Associations of factors potentially underlying active aging and wellbeing will be studied using multivariate methods. Cohort effects will be studied by comparing test results of physical and cognitive functioning with results of a cohort examined in 1989-90.
The current study will renew research on positive gerontology through the novel approach to active aging and by suggesting new biomarkers of resilience and active aging. Therefore, high interdisciplinary impact is expected. This cross-sectional study will not provide knowledge on temporal order of events or causality, but an innovative cross-sectional dataset provides opportunities for emergence of novel creative hypotheses and theories.
Using data from two American and one Finnish long-term longitudinal studies, we examined continuity of general aggression from age 8 to physical aggression in early adulthood (age 21-30) and whether continuity of aggression differed by country, sex, and parent occupational status. In all samples, childhood aggression was assessed via peer nominations and early adulthood aggression via self-reports. Multi-group structural equation models revealed significant continuity in aggression in the American samples but not in the Finnish sample. These relations did not differ by sex but did differ by parent occupational status: whereas there was no significant continuity among American children from professional family-of-origin backgrounds, there was significant continuity among American children from non-professional backgrounds.
The present study investigated the factor structure of the 10-item version of the Dutch Work Addiction Scale (DUWAS). The DUWAS-10 is intended to measure workaholism with two correlated factors: working excessively (WE) and working compulsively (WC). The factor structure of the DUWAS-10 was examined among multi-occupational samples from the Netherlands (n=9,010) and Finland (n=4,567) using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). CFAs revealed that the expected correlated two-factor solution showed satisfactory fit to the data. However, a second-order factor solution, where WE comprised the first-order factors "working frantically" and "working long hours", and WC the first-order factors "obsessive work drive" and "unease if not working", showed significantly better fit to the data. The expectation of factorial group invariance of the second-order factor structure between the Dutch and Finnish samples was also supported. Moreover, factorial time invariance was observed across a two-year time lag in a sub-sample of Finnish managers (n=459). In conclusion, the DUWAS-10 was found to be a comprehensive measure of workaholism, meeting the criteria of factorial validity in multiple settings, and can thus be recommended for use in both research and practice.
This study investigated the developmental trajectories of work-family conflict among the same participants (n = 277; 48% female) at ages 36, 42, and 50. Across this 14-year time span, with respect to the sample as a whole, there was no significant change in the mean levels of work-to-family conflict (WFC) or family to-work conflict (FWC). However, latent profile analyses revealed four latent trajectories within the sample, showing both mean-level stability and change in WFC and FWC: (1) "WFC decreasing" (n = 151); (2) "WFC and FWC stable low" (n = 105); (3) "WFC and FWC increasing" (n = 14); and (4) "FWC decreasing" (n = 7). Of these trajectories the strongest contrast existed between the WFC and FWC stable low and the WFC and FWC increasing trajectories: the former had the lowest and the latter the highest number of weekly working hours at ages 36, 42, and 50, and in the former but not in the latter the number of children living at home significantly decreased from age 36 to 50. Also, at ages 42 and 50 the WFC and FWC increasing trajectory showed higher job exhaustion and depressive symptoms than the WFC and FWC stable low trajectory. Altogether these findings suggest that work-family conflict is not limited to the early part of employees' working career and that developmental trajectories of work-family conflict exhibit a substantial amount of heterogeneity.
The study investigated the development trajectories of managers' work ability over a 10-year period. In addition, baseline factors affecting the development course were sought from the managers' background variables, work resources, and attitudes. Differences in retirement age in the detected trajectory groups were also examined.
Questionnaire data were collected from Finnish managers (N=1033) in 1996, 1999, and 2006. In 1996, the mean age of the participants was 44 (range 20-65) years, and 28.5%, 35.5%, and 36% of the participants were in upper, middle, and lower management, respectively.
The analysis identified the following five trajectories over the follow-up period: (i) work ability consistently excellent (N=662), (ii) work ability good but declining (N=252), (iii) work ability declined from good to poor (N=54), (iv) work ability improved from moderate to good (N=46), and (v) work ability consistently poor (N=19). In the first group, the participants were more likely to be younger and to work in upper management, as compared with the other groups. They also gave their job control, organizational climate, and organizational commitment the highest rating. The mean retirement age was the highest (61.3 years) in the two most favorable work ability groups (1 and 2) and the lowest (55.4 years) in the group "work ability consistently poor."
Aging managers and lower-level managers are at risk of having their work ability develop in an unfavorable direction. Therefore, more attention should be given to psychosocial work conditions in organizations in order to prevent poor work ability.
This study examined three theoretical models of hostility, health and life context. According to the psychosocial vulnerability hypothesis, there is an interaction between hostility and adverse conditions. The increased health risk in hostile individuals is assumed to stem from their lower ability to benefit from existing psychosocial resources. The second hypothesis, called here the social context model, considers adverse conditions as an antecedent of both hostility and health problems. The third model states that hostility is a predictor of being selected to adverse conditions involving risk to health (the selection hypothesis). The results from a survey of a population-based random sample (2153 non-institutionalized citizens aged 18-64 years) in Finland, showed that hostile men had a high prevalence of non-optimal health, irrespective of employment status. In non-hostile men, employment was associated with better health than unemployment. This association between hostility and unemployment was not found in women. Corresponding findings were obtained from a 1959-born cohort of 311 individuals followed up for 27 years. The combination of high hostility at school age and unemployment in adulthood had an additive effect on poor health in adult men but not in adult women. Hostility in childhood was not significantly associated with unemployment in adulthood. Thus, this study supported the psychosocial vulnerability model in men.
We used two studies to examine whether mental health and hostility predicted temporary employment. Study 1 involved a cohort of 970 Finnish hospital employees (102 men, 868 women) who had temporary job contracts at baseline. After adjustment for demographics, organisational tenure and part-time work status, doctor-diagnosed psychiatric disorder predicted continuing in temporary employment instead of receiving a permanent job by the end of the 2-year follow-up. A higher level of hostility was also associated with temporary employment, but only among employees in low socioeconomic positions. In Study 2, anxiety and aggressive behaviour were measured in a cohort of 226 Finnish school children (116 boys, 110 girls) at 8 years of age. Anxiety in childhood predicted temporary employment at age 42. Aggressive behaviour in childhood was related to ongoing temporary employment status in adulthood among individuals in low socioeconomic positions. Our findings suggest that selection by individual characteristics operates between the temporary and permanent workforces. Mental health problems, a part of which are already seen in childhood, seem to restrict individuals' possibilities to gain secure labour market positions. Hostility and aggressiveness seem to be related to labour market prospects only among individuals in low socioeconomic positions.
The authors examined the prediction of occupational attainment by age 40 from contextual and personal variables assessed during childhood and adolescence in 2 participant samples: (a) the Columbia County Longitudinal Study, a study of 856 third graders in a semirural county in New York State that began in 1960, and (b) the Jyv?skyl? Longitudinal Study of Personality and Social Development, a study of 369 eight-year-olds in Jyv?skyl?, Finland, that began in 1968. Both samples were followed up during adolescence and early and middle adulthood. Structural modeling analyses revealed that in both countries, for both genders, children's age 8 cognitive-academic functioning and their parents' occupational status had independent positive long-term effects on the children's adult occupational attainment, even after other childhood and adolescent personal variables were controlled for. Further, childhood and adolescent aggressive behavior negatively affected educational status in early adulthood, which in turn predicted lower occupational status in middle adulthood.
The research aim was to study the associations of nature diversity with quality of life (QoL) and depressive symptoms among older people, and whether physical activity explains the associations.
Community-dwelling people aged 75-90 years (n?=?848) living in Central Finland were interviewed in their homes. QoL was assessed with a short version of the World Health Organization Quality-of-Life Assessment (range 0-130, higher score indicates better QoL) and depressive symptoms with the Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (range 0-30, higher scores indicate more depressive symptoms). Self-reported physical activity was assessed by intensity and duration using a single question with seven response options ranging from mostly resting to competitive sports. Nature diversity (Shannon Diversity Index) was assessed objectively within a 500-m buffer around participants' homes using a geographic information system (GIS).
Mean QoL was 100.3 (SD 11.8) and mean CES-D 9.6 (SD 6.8). Those in the highest nature diversity tertile had better QoL than those in the lowest tertile (p?=?.022). Physical activity did not explain the association between nature diversity and QoL. Adjustment for health indicators did not change the results. Nature diversity was not associated with depressive symptoms.
A diverse environment, especially when this includes elements of nature, is associated with better QoL. Good quality of the green infrastructure and adding natural elements to residential areas may enhance well-being among community-dwelling older people.
This study investigates the associations of longitudinal Big Five personality profiles with long-term health in 304 adults (53% males). Personality traits (Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness) were assessed at ages 33, 42, and 50. Subjective (self-rated health, symptoms, psychological distress) and objective (body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides) indicators of health were measured at ages 42 and 50. Five longitudinally stable personality profiles were extracted over 17 years by latent profile analysis. The levels of traits were the same in each profile at each age. Resilient individuals (N = 65; Neuroticism low, other traits high) had the best subjective health and Overcontrolled individuals (N = 40; Neuroticism high, other traits low) the poorest health over eight years. Reserved individuals (N = 25; high Conscientiousness, other traits low), Undercontrolled (N = 41; high Openness and Extraversion, low Conscientiousness), and Ordinary (N = 133; all traits scored medium) individuals were in the middle of these extremes in subjective health. No differences between the profiles were found in the objective indicators of health. Thus, overcontrol and resilience were most discriminative in terms of good health. Moreover, personality profiles revealed associations with health to be more nuanced than simply being composed of single traits. High Extraversion needed to be combined with high Conscientiousness (Resilients) in order to be associated with the best health; high Extraversion with low Conscientiousness (Undercontrolled) was associated with average health; and low Extraversion with high Neuroticism (Overcontrolled) was associated with the poorest health.