The older generation is coping much better with the COVID-19 pandemic than younger adults, research has shown.
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Lead researcher Professor Natalie J. Shook, a social psychologist, said: “When you think about older adulthood, oftentimes, there are downsides. For example, with regard to physical well-being, we don’t recover as well from injury or illness as we get older.
“But, on average, older adults tend to have better emotional well-being than younger adults. They tend to report a more positive mood, are happier and more satisfied with life.
“And so we wanted to look at this question, with regard to COVID, because we know older adults are much more likely to have serious complications.”
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The trial found an association between feelings of anxiety about becoming infected with COVID-19 among the age group of 18 and 49, but that relationship did not exist among the older participants.
Professor Shook said: “What we see within our data is that there seems to be kind of this age buffering where, despite greater concerns about COVID and rightly so, our older adults are not reporting higher rates of anxiety or depression than younger adults.
“The data suggest that older adults are better able to regulate their emotions and better able to cope with all of the stress and uncertainty right now.”
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Despite older people being at a higher risk of becoming severely unwell from the virus, the researchers said the older generation seem to be focusing more on the positives of the current moment.
Professor Shook added: “Older adults still experience depression and anxiety, and it’s not that we’re not seeing that; we’re just seeing less than in our younger adults.”
The study has been published in the Aging and Mental Health journal.