(from application): This is a request for a MRSDA in Aging (MRSDAA) (K01). The overall aim of the application is to provide the candidate, Becca Levy, Ph.D., with a supervised research and educational experience that will enable her to become an independent investigator focusing on how psychosocial factors influence the long-term health of the elderly. Dr. Levy, an experimental social psychologist, became a faculty member at YU in 1999. A K01 Award, along with the supportive research environment at Yale, would provide Dr. Levy with the scientific tools for successful career development.
The aims of the career development plan include developing a proficiency in: (1) psychosocial epidemiology of aging; (2) advanced statistics appropriate for analyzing longitudinal data sets; (3) research on disability in old age; and (4) issues involved in conducting and managing a longitudinal study. The overall objective of the two proposed studies is to determine whether aging self-stereotypes, beliefs about old people held by the elderly, influence patterns of functioning and survival. In Study 1, it is predicted that more positive aging self-stereotypes, as measured by the Attitude toward Aging subscale of the Philadelphia Geriatric Morale Scale (Lawton, 1975), will lead to lower rates of disability and mortality and higher rates of recovery among those that become disabled. This project will use the Ohio Longitudinal Study of Aging and Adaptation that includes six waves of data more than 21 years on 1106 participants, who were 50 years or older at baseline. In Study 2, it is predicted that more positive aging self-stereotypes, as measured at baseline by an open-ended question designed by the candidate, will protect individuals from experiencing an onset of dependence in activities of daily living (ADL) and will help those individuals, who develop ADL dependence to recover. Study 2 will draw on the Precipitating Events Project, an ongoing longitudinal study of 754 persons, 70 years or older, living in New Haven. This study will include three years of monthly telephone interviews about functioning. Together, these studies offer an excellent training opportunity and the possibility of identifying a new risk factor for disability and mortality that could be targeted by a psychosocial intervention.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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National Institute on Aging Initial Review Group (NIA)
Program Officer
Nielsen, Lisbeth
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Yale University
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Medicine
New Haven
United States
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Pietrzak, Robert H; Zhu, Yong; Slade, Martin D et al. (2016) Association Between Negative Age Stereotypes and Accelerated Cellular Aging: Evidence from Two Cohorts of Older Adults. J Am Geriatr Soc 64:e228-e230
Levy, Becca R; Leifheit-Limson, Erica (2009) The stereotype-matching effect: greater influence on functioning when age stereotypes correspond to outcomes. Psychol Aging 24:230-3
Levy, Becca R; Ashman, Ori; Slade, Martin D (2009) Age attributions and aging health: contrast between the United States and Japan. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 64:335-8