This project investigates how socio-environmental conditions affect the psychological functioning of the elderly. It tests hypotheses about how, as one grows older, such social-structurally determined environmental conditions such as complexity affect cognitive functioning, autonomous self-directed orientations and one's feelings about oneself and one's circumstances. The data come from a follow-up survey of 707 respondents originally selected in 1964 as part of a nationally representative sample picked for an investigation of how occupational conditions affect psychological functioning. This year we finished and had accepted for publication two papers. One showed that substantively complex occupational conditions continue to positively effect cognitive functioning later in life-- in fact more so than earlier. The second demonstrated that peoples's self-esteem continues to be affected by the degree of their occupational self-direction, even late in their work careers.
|Caplan, Leslie J; Schooler, Carmi (2003) The roles of fatalism, self-confidence, and intellectual resources in the disablement process in older adults. Psychol Aging 18:551-61|
|Schooler, C; Mulatu, M S (2001) The reciprocal effects of leisure time activities and intellectual functioning in older people: a longitudinal analysis. Psychol Aging 16:466-82|
|Schooler, C; Mulatu, M S; Oates, G (1999) The continuing effects of substantively complex work on the intellectual functioning of older workers. Psychol Aging 14:483-506|
|Mulatu, M S; Schooler, C (1999) Longitudinal effects of occupational, psychological, and social background characteristics on health of older workers. Ann N Y Acad Sci 896:406-8|