The glass is not half empty: optimism, pessimism, and health among older adults.Int Psychogeriatr 2019; :1-5IP
Objectives:Optimism and pessimism are distinct constructs that have demonstrated independent relationships with aspects of health and well-being. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether optimism or pessimism is more closely linked with physical and mental health among older adults.
Community-dwelling older adults (N = 272) ages 59-95 in the southern United States.
The Life Orientation Test-Revised and the Short Form 8.
At the bivariate level, optimism was associated with higher physical health and mental health, while pessimism was associated with lower physical health and mental health. Multiple-regression analyses as well as comparison of correlation coefficients found that pessimism was more closely associated with physical health and mental health than optimism.
These results add to the literature suggesting that, in terms of older adults' health and well-being, avoiding pessimism may be more important than being optimistic.