Self-management, Stress, and Self-esteem in Older Adults
Self-management refers to the ability to take care of oneself on a daily basis. It implies capabilities in activities of daily living (ADLs), instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), as well as social and psychological maintenance. In societies where independence and self-sufficiency are highly valued, self-management may contribute to quality of life. Yet various demographic, health, and social factors may hamper quality of late life. For instance, self-management of the social conditions that may impact older adults’ physical and mental health become more challenging with age. In addition, demographic and family factors are associated with levels of self-management. The current study, based on an IRB approved survey conducted in the Midwest of the United States, examined older adults’ (N = 103, M age = 73.66) self-reported general health, family relationship quality, level of self-management, perceived stress, self-esteem, and demographics. Path analysis revealed that self-reported health and physical activity frequency were significant predictors of self-management; self-management had direct effects on stress, which subsequently predicted participants’ self-esteem. Interestingly, participants’ age or education level had no significant direct effects on self-management in daily life. Interpretations and implications of the findings and ways to enhance older adults’ quality of late life are discussed.