Affect and morale in older Canadian adults

Helmes, E., Goffin, R., and Chrisjohn, R. (2009) Affect and morale in older Canadian adults. Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 13 (Supplement 1). S174-S174.

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Introduction: Despite widespread agreement on the importance of positive affect among older adults, debate continues as to the distinctions among various constructs related to positive attitudes towards life among older adults. Constructs such as subjective wellbeing, satisfaction with life, happiness, morale, and positive affect all correlate with one another, leading to questions as to whether they are distinct constructs or not. Here we examine some of these issues with relation to a well-known and widely used measure of affect, the Bradburn Affect Balance Scale (ABS).

Methods and Materials: Data were from 187 Canadian community-dwelling older adults (40 males) with a mean age of 69.7 years (SD = 6.24), with about 40% having retired from service occupations. Participants completed the ABS, the 22 item Philadelphia Geriatric Center Morale Scale, the Kutner Morale Scale, and the Social Desirability scale from the Personality Research Form.

Results: Principal component analysis of the 10 ABS items with oblique rotation clearly showed two underlying components that correlated positively with one another. This is in contrast to the unidimensional bipolar scoring key for the ABS. Social desirability was positively correlated with all measures of affect and morale. Measures of morale correlated as highly with the ABS as with one another.

Conclusions: The traditional scoring key for the ABS does not reflect its actual internal structure, which is of two mildly correlated components that are not positive and negative ends of a single dimension of affect. Both components correlate as highly with the two measures of morale as with one another, suggesting that the measures used are measuring a single underlying construct and that morale and both positive and negative affect reflect a single basic construct. In addition, correlations with a measure of social desirability suggest that all three measures are not free from positive self-presentation styles.

Item ID: 10456
Item Type: Article (Abstract)
ISSN: 1760-4788
Keywords: affective development; older adults; morale; structural equation; modelling
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2011 01:56
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing @ 40%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170109 Personality, Abilities and Assessment @ 30%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170110 Psychological Methodology, Design and Analysis @ 30%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920502 Health Related to Ageing @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 50%
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