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Crises Like the Pandemic Don’t Make People Less Optimistic

Crises Like the Pandemic Don’t Make People Less Optimistic

As humans, we are built to have a positive outlook on our future, and a recent study from the University of Georgia’s Institute of Gerontology shows that the elderly are handling coronavirus the most optimistically out of other age groups.

The study specifically shows that when it comes to staying positive during the coronavirus pandemic, the elderly are coping better than other age groups. In the UGA study, 74% of people aged 71 and older said they were experiencing little or no stress due to the Coronavirus. They made a comparison to living through war times and said the pandemic was no worse. 

Kerstin Emerson, study author and clinical associate professor of gerontology for UGA’s new online Graduate Certificate in Gerontology states, “That’s where older adults have a strength. They have life experience and coping mechanisms that we don’t often give them credit for, but that’s part of their wisdom. We can really turn to older adults as examples of how to manage and live through bad periods of history.”

Emerson’s main areas of research have been on the impacts of loneliness and social isolation among older adults. Loneliness among older adults is a major public health challenge because it has mental and physical health implications, as well as societal costs.

Another study by lead author Patrick Klaber, a graduate student in the UBC department of psychology, found that adults aged 60 and older did better emotionally than younger adults during coronavirus. According to the authors, the elderly balanced the stress of greater health risk from Covid-19 with the better coping skills they had acquired as they got older. 

“Our findings provide new evidence that older adults are emotionally resilient despite public discourse often portraying their vulnerability. We also found that younger adults are at greater risk for loneliness and psychological distress during the pandemic,” 

Read the original article on Forbes and visit to learn more about UGA’s new online Graduate Certificate in Gerontology