Posted on Apr 17, 2014, 6 a.m.
People who have a confident self-esteem tend to experience fewer health problems as they age.
Whereas a number of previous studies demonstrate the importance of boosting self-esteem in one’s adolescent years, a team from Concordia University (Canada) suggests that it is just as important for older adults to maintain and improve upon those confidence levels as they enter their twilight years. Sarah Y. Liu and colleagues met with 147 adults, ages 60 years and over, to measure their cortisol levels, self-esteem, stress, and symptoms of depression every 24 months over four years. Self-esteem was measured through standardized questions. The study also took into account personal and health factors like economic status, whether the participant was married or single, and mortality risk. The team revealed that maintaining or even improving self-esteem may help to buffer potential health threats typically associated with the transition into older adulthood.
Sarah Y. Liu, Carsten Wrosch, Gregory E. Miller, Jens C. Pruessner. “Self-esteem change and diurnal cortisol secretion in older adulthood.” Psychoneuroendocrinology, Volume 41, March 2014, Pages 111-120.