Latent constructs of adjustment to aging and subjective age in Portugal and Romania: a comparative multiple correspondence analysis

Sofia von Humboldt, Isabel Leal, Filipa Pimenta, Georgeta Niculescu

Abstract


Objective: To analyze the determinants of adjustment to aging (AtA) and subjective age (SA) identified by older adults and to investigate the differences of latent constructs that can work as major determinants in AtA and SA in an older Portuguese and Romanian population. Method: Measures were completed, including demographics and interviews. Complete data were available for 38 older adults aged between 74-90 years (M=80.6; SD = 5.4), from Portugal and Romenia. Data was subjected to content analysis. Representation of the associations and latent constructs were analyzed by a Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA). Results: The most prevalent response of the interviewed participants for determinants to AtA was ‘health status, physical and intellectual functioning’ (18.1%). ‘With apprehension’ and ‘good enough’ (both 27.0%) were identified as the most frequent SA responses. Findings showed a model for each nationality. AtA and SA for Portuguese elderly were explained by a three-factor model: ‘regardful’, ‘engaged’ and ‘conciliated’. A three-dimension model formed by ‘perseverant’, ‘congruent’ and ‘enjoyers’ was indicated as a best-fit solution for Romanian elderly. Conclusion: AtA and SA are strongly explained by increased likelihood of specific constructs in its definition. AtA is related to SA in older adults in both countries, although in different degree.


Keywords


adjustment to aging; older adults; Portugal; Romania; subjective age; aging well