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Title: The ageing experience : perceived age discrimination and self-perceptions of ageing in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA)
Author: Rippon, I.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8497 7600
Awarding Body: UCL (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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An ageing population has important implications for wider aspects of society including our own perceptions of, and attitudes to, ageing. This thesis investigated how perceived age discrimination and self-perceptions of ageing may affect wellbeing at older ages. Using data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), Study 1 investigated the association between perceived age discrimination and socio-demographic characteristics in England. The results indicated that around a third of over 52 year olds in England reported perceptions of age discrimination. Perceived age discrimination was associated with older age, and it was associated with higher levels of education, lower levels of household wealth and lack of paid employment. The second study then went on to compare perceived age discrimination in everyday situations in England and the USA, using data from ELSA and the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). The results indicated that perceived age discrimination was higher in England in comparison with the USA (34.8% vs 29.1%). Study 3 revealed that self-perceived age predicted all-cause and cardiovascular mortality but not cancer mortality over a follow-up period of 99 months. The strength of the association was reduced once existing health problems, functional limitations and health behaviours were accounted for. There was some evidence to indicate that there was a bi-directional association between self-perceived age and functional capacity and emotional health (Study 4). In the fully-adjusted models, self-perceived age was associated with elevated depressive symptoms and limited ADLs four years later, but not with impaired mobility. Conversely, only impaired mobility was associated with self-perceived age four years later, once all covariates were accounted for. Key implications for future research and policy include addressing our own and societal attitudes towards ageing. The findings of this thesis indicate that there is scope to change this and that interventions may be possible.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available