Getting older = lower self-esteem, say researchers

January 20, 2004

Worried about gaining weight and wrinkles as you age? Well, now there's one more reason to fear aging - an increased sense of insecurity, say sociologists from the University of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario.

"We live in a culture of youth where being young is prized and idealized," says Professor John Cairney, a sociologist in U of T's psychiatry department and co-author of the study, Self-esteem and the intersection of age, class and gender. "When you're talking about self-esteem, your body image is an important part of that perception."

Cairney and lead author Julie Ann McMullin of the University of Western Ontario, analysed data from the 1994 National Population Health Survey, a random telephone survey of 17,626 participants conducted by Statistics Canada. They compared each subject's self-reported level of self-esteem to their gender, social class (household income, education, marital status) and age.

The researchers also found that levels of self-esteem in low-income earners dropped significantly after they reached middle age compared to men and women with middle and high incomes. "A person's sense of self-worth is probably linked, to a certain degree, on how economically or socially successful they are. Living in this society, being economically advantaged may have a positive impact on a person's sense of who they are. It's a marker of success."

So how can we gain more confidence as we age? "It starts early on," says Cairney. "It's about changing negative perceptions and stereotypes associated with gender and age."

The study will be published in the February issue of the Journal of Aging Studies.
-end-
CONTACT:
Professor John Cairney
U of T Department of Psychiatry; and
Health Systems Research and Consulting Unit,
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
416-535-8501 x6319
john_cairney@camh.net

Sue Toye
U of T Public Affairs
416-978-4289
sue.toye@utoronto.ca

University of Toronto

Related Wrinkles Articles from Brightsurf:

The benefits of slowness
Wrinkles, furrows, spots: a person's aging process is accompanied by tell-tale signs on their face.

Scientists iron out the physics of wrinkling
In a paper recently published in Applied Physics Letters, researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) have shown how wrinkles can be increased or reduced by altering the curvature at the edge of a material.

Study shows biocell collagen ingestion reduced signs of UVB-induced photoaging
New research finds BioCell Collagen Ingestion to reduce signs of UVB-Induced photoaging, which accounts for a significant amount of visible skin damage.

Mechanical forces shape bacterial biofilms' puzzling patterns
Belying their slimy natures, the sticky patches of bacteria called biofilms often form intricate, starburst-like patterns as they grow.

Express yourself: Dermal fillers restore youthful facial movement, don't just fill wrinkles
Used for facial rejuvenation, dermal fillers do more than just fill in wrinkles.

WSU genetic discovery holds implications for better immunity, longer life
Wrinkles on the skin of a microscopic worm might provide the key to a longer, healthier life for humans.

New silk materials can wrinkle into detailed patterns, then unwrinkle to be 'reprinted'
Tufts engineers have developed silk materials that can wrinkle into highly detailed patterns -- including words, textures and images as intricate as a QR code or a fingerprint.

Smoothing wrinkles in mice -- without needles
In the quest for a more youthful appearance, many people slather ointments on their skin or undergo injections of dermal fillers.

Study shows BioCell collagen can visibly reduce common signs of skin aging within 12 weeks
In one of the most substantial studies of a skin health supplement, BioCell Collagen®, was found to visibly reduce common signs of skin aging, including lines and wrinkles, within 12 weeks of daily use.

Puzzling shapes: Unlocking the mysteries of plant cell morphology
The discovery of the mechanics and molecular mechanism that dictate cell shape formation in plants by a team of McGill researchers offers new clues about the fundamental processes governing tissue formation in multicellular organisms.

Read More: Wrinkles News and Wrinkles Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.