Older Adults’ Attitudes to Ageing: The Jamaican Perspective
Sonja K P. Williams
The University of the West Indies, Mona
St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital, St. Ann,
The current study assessed the attitudes of Jamaican older adults toward ageing, criteria for old age, and the predictors of their attitudes toward ageing. Participants (114 between 65 and 95 years of age, 67% female) for this cross-sectional study were drawn from urban, lower-middle and working-class communities. Data collection tools include the Attitudes to Ageing Questionnaire (AAQ), and a demographic questionnaire. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse data. Cronbach’s alpha indicated a high level of internal consistency for the AAQ in this group of older adults. Findings suggested an overall weak positive attitude to ageing (AAQ mean score= 88.6 ± 9.1). Respondents perceived persons between the ages of 40 to 115 years to have entered old age. The mean perceived age was 81.15 ± 12.4, with a median of 80 years and a mode of 80 years. Most respondents (39.5%, n = 45) considered that the condition of a person’s health defined their old age. Attitudes toward ageing were positively associated with engagement in gainful post-retirement employment and negatively associated with loneliness. These findings have implications for the positive well-being and the development of services offered to older Jamaican adults.