The long-term goal of the proposed research is to better understand the relationships between vision impairment severity, functional disability, coping tendencies, and mental-health among middle-aged and older adults who are confronted with a chronic vision impairment. Age-related vision loss is the second most prevalent disability among older adults. Its major impact on functional ability and interaction with others has been shown to put individuals at risk for depression and poorer perceived adaptation to vision loss, this work has contributed more to the understanding of coping patterns that are maladaptive than to learning what may be adaptive. However, optimal interventions depend as much on knowing what is adaptive as on understanding the factors that increase risk for poor mental health. Furthermore, prior research has not included a developmental perspective, and has been limited to the study of older adults. The proposed study seeks to fill this gap by comparing middle age and older adults, and by utilizing a theoretical framework that incorporates a developmental component, and specifies modes of coping that mitigate depression and enable a person to stay resilient in the face of major decline: the model of assimilative and accommodative coping. The insights gained from this study will guide subsequent research that will serve to identify those who are at risk for mental health problems, and to optimize interventions that help individuals adapt to vision impairment as well to other disabilities.
Specific aims are: 1. To explore the interrelationships between vision impairment severity, functional disability, and mental health outcomes, and to examine if these relationships vary by age. 2. To examine the role of assimilative and accommodative modes of coping in the relationships among vision impairment severity, functional disability, and mental health, 3. To explore whether the role of assimilative and accommodative modes of coping differs depending on the stage in the life cycle at which the vision occurs by comparing middle age and older adults. 50-middle aged and 50 older adults will be recruited from a community- based rehabilitation agency. Regression analyses will be conducted to test the effects of independent variables on mental health outcomes.
|Boerner, Kathrin (2004) Adaptation to disability among middle-aged and older adults: the role of assimilative and accommodative coping. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 59:P35-42|