Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms are known for predicting accelerated aging. However, it has not been examined whether individuals are subjectively aware of this process. The present study examined whether PTSD symptoms predict subjective accelerated aging and whether positive mental health status moderates this relationship. One hundred and thirty-two community-dwelling older adults (M = 66.85, SD = 9.13) who were sampled through random dialing of Jewish residents in the south of Israel completed the questionnaire twice: At Wave 1 after the flare-up of an Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and at Wave 2, a year later. Participants reported their PTSD symptoms, positive mental health, and on their subjective accelerated aging a year later. Higher levels of PTSD symptoms and lower levels of positive mental health were separately related to increased subjective accelerated aging. Participants with a lower level of positive mental health demonstrated a stronger association between PTSD symptoms and subjective accelerated aging. These findings emphasize that individuals who suffer from higher levels of PTSD symptoms and specifically those with lower levels of positive mental health status tend to feel they are aging faster. This finding adds to previous research suggesting that alongside the physiological process of accelerated aging there is also a subjective similar process.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was partially supported by the Center for Research and Study of Aging at the University of Haifa and by a research seed grant from the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute.
© International Psychogeriatric Association 2020.
- ongoing traumatic events
- posttraumatic stress symptoms
- subjective weathering hypothesis
- views on aging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology
- Geriatrics and Gerontology
- Psychiatry and Mental health