Several studies show that both positive mental health in late adulthood and longevity are positively associated with indices of psychological well-being (e.g., life satisfaction, coping) and negatively associated with signs of depression. However, the self-assessment of mental health in the elderly may be biased by social desirability as they attempt to present themselves more positively in order to impress the interlocutor and preserve their social image. A primary aim of the current study was to explore whether social desirability influenced self-assessment of depression in a sample of cognitively healthy elderly people residing in Sardinia, an Italian isle characterized by higher longevity indexes. Moreover, it was investigated the relationship between perceived physical health and depression and whether this relationship was impacted by social desirability. Each participant was presented a battery of inventories including measures of metacognitive efficiency, subjective well-being, depression, socially desirability. Overall, An ANCOVA and a path analysis highlighted the role played by social desirability on participants' self-assessment of mental health. The implications of these findings with respect to current research trends and clinical practice will be discussed.

Do elderly people fake in the assessment of their mental health?

HITCHCOTT, PAUL KENNETH;FASTAME, MARIA CHIARA;PENNA, MARIA PIETRONILLA;AGUS, MIRIAN
2016

Abstract

Several studies show that both positive mental health in late adulthood and longevity are positively associated with indices of psychological well-being (e.g., life satisfaction, coping) and negatively associated with signs of depression. However, the self-assessment of mental health in the elderly may be biased by social desirability as they attempt to present themselves more positively in order to impress the interlocutor and preserve their social image. A primary aim of the current study was to explore whether social desirability influenced self-assessment of depression in a sample of cognitively healthy elderly people residing in Sardinia, an Italian isle characterized by higher longevity indexes. Moreover, it was investigated the relationship between perceived physical health and depression and whether this relationship was impacted by social desirability. Each participant was presented a battery of inventories including measures of metacognitive efficiency, subjective well-being, depression, socially desirability. Overall, An ANCOVA and a path analysis highlighted the role played by social desirability on participants' self-assessment of mental health. The implications of these findings with respect to current research trends and clinical practice will be discussed.
Aging, Depression, Mental health, Predictors, Social desirability, Signal processing, Biomedical engineering, Instrumentation
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11584/172988
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