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Gerontologist. 1992 Feb;32(1):82-8.

Age differences and correlates of worrying in young and elderly adults.

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  • 1University of Massachusetts, Department of Psychology, Amherst 01003.


A cross-sectional investigation compared worry and its correlates in elderly people (N = 89) and in college students (N = 74). Consistent with prediction, the elderly adults expressed significantly fewer worries than the college students about finances and social events. Both groups were equally worried about health issues. The elderly scored higher on the Bradburn Affect Balance Scale, scored in the external direction on the Nowicki-Strickland Locus of Control Scale, and were more oriented toward the past and present than the future. Worry in the elderly was related to less favorable attitudes toward the future, and among college students worry was related to negative attitudes toward the present. For both age groups, an external locus of control was associated with higher worry scores.

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