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J Women Aging. 2013;25(3):273-80. doi: 10.1080/08952841.2013.791602.

Perception of aging and ageism among women in Qatar.

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Nutrition and Health Studies Unit, Deanship of Scientific Research, University of Bahrain, Manama, Bahrain.


The objective of this study was to find out the perceptions of age and aging among women in Qatar. Respondents consisted of 250 women aged between 20 and 70 years, selected from those attending the health centers in Doha city, the capital of Qatar. They were interviewed using a pretested validated questionnaire, and data were collected through direct face-to-face interviews using the incidental sampling method. It was found that physical appearance and mental alertness were the most important criteria for defining aging in men and women. A statistically significant association was found between age of respondents and physical criteria for aging such as hair color (p < .000) in women and body image in men (p < .0298). As for aging characteristics, decreasing hearing ability (p < .000), performance as before (p < .004), more irritability (p < .0227), ability to travel alone (p < .0429), needs check up (p < .001), and needs a geriatric home (p < .001) were statistically associated with age of women studied. Both positive (socializing factors, independence, housework, retirement, and geriatric care) and negative stereotyping (care for self, learning capabilities, irritability, and worries) with regard to aging were evident among the Qatari women. In general, Qatari women had several positive attitudes toward aging. Such attitudes could be utilized in any health promotion for elderly people.

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