Negative attitudes towards ageing have been associated with poor mental well-being, and protective factors are not well-understood. This study examined the relationship between ageing attitudes and symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the potential moderating effect of age, and buffering effects of social support, physical activity and education.
This study used a subsample of 482 adults aged 50+ years from a mail questionnaire study in Brisbane, Australia. Data were analysed using linear regression.
People with more positive ageing attitudes reported fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression, with no moderating effect of age. There was a significant interaction between ageing attitudes and education on depression, and a similar trend for anxiety.
This study confirmed the adverse impacts of negative ageing attitudes on mental health and indicated that those with low education may be most vulnerable. This has implications for future research and targeting interventions for mental health promotion.