Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Background: Rates of anxiety are generally thought to decline in typically aging older adults. Some theorize that this decline is a result of age-related improvements in emotion regulation. Emotion regulation may require the use of complex cognitive processes, however, which can be impacted by cognitive decline. Indeed, the prevalence of anxiety is high among older adults with cognitive impairment. The current study examined emotion regulation and threat perception as possible mediators in the relation between cognitive functioning and anxiety.;Methods: One hundred adults, aged 60 and older, were recruited from nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and the community. All were asked to complete a cognitive screening measure, along with measures of anxiety, emotion regulation, and threat perception. The relation between these variables was examined.;Results: Though cognitive impairment predicted anxiety level, neither emotion regulation nor threat perception mediated the relation.;Conclusions: The data suggest that emotion regulation and threat perception may rely on automatic processing, rather than effortful cognitive processing.
Ciliberti, Caroline M., "Emotion Regulation and Threat Estimation as Mediators of the Relation between Cognitive Functioning and Anxiety in Late Life" (2013). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 4955.