Objectives: It was aimed to determine the causes and consequences of perceptual adoption of aging with cognitive learning and acceptance, in this study.
Methods: This study was conducted in June 2019 with 58 participants (41 female, 17 males; living in the province of Adana in Turkey; selected from 1432 individuals; ages ranging between 18 to 30).
Results: In this study, it was found that the perception of aging emerged as a result of the participants’ comparison and internalization of the information obtained from the elderly people and themselves who exposed to the symptoms of aging. Latent aging was associated with chronic pain in the body, palliative diseases, physical changes. Individual effects of latent aging were determined as tiredness, fatigue, arthritis pain, burnout, unjustified pain, stress, anxiety and nervousness. Medical effects of latent aging were determined as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), high blood pressure, nephrotic syndrome, digestive and stomach diseases.
Conclusions: It was revealed that individuals’ perceptions of aging were exposed to latent aging through cognitive learning and acceptance regardless of age. In addition, the association of latent aging with palliative diseases and SLE was proved.
Keywords: Latent aging; Systemic lupus erythematosus; Palliative disease; Gerontology
Materials and methods
This study was conducted in June 2019 with 58 participants (41 female, 17 male; living in the province of Adana in Turkey; selected from 1432 individuals; ages ranging between 18 to 30). The selected 58 people were those who responded “yes” to questions Q1 and Q2 (Appendix 1). However, 4 participants refusedto participate the research. Participants’ consent for this research was obtained. Qualitative research methodology and multiple case design were adopted in this study. Structured interview, data collection approach and observation techniques were used . The predetermined questions were asked to all participants in the same order . Qualitative data were analyzed by an academician, who had not previously worked in this field to minimize the systematic error . Conceptualization, classification and component analysis were applied respectively in data analysis . A total of eight questions were asked to the participants (Appendix 1). These eight questions were based on the information obtained from individuals’ past experiences that aim to reveal latent aging. After the questions were asked, individuals were asked to submit the medical reports of diseases (after they began to feel old) diagnosed by a doctor. These reports were examined in detail. The reports were compared with the complaints and the responses.
According to the findings of the study, the responses given to the questions asked to measure the latent perception of aging according to the findings obtained from the participants are focused on three main subjects as cognitive learning (associating physical changes with aging), cognitive learning (associating diseases and pain perception with aging), environmental factors. It was found that the perception of aging emerged as a result of the participants’ comparison and internalization of the information obtained from the elderly people and themselves who exposed to the symptoms of aging (Table 1). Comparisons and internalizations are performed by determining the physical changes, frequent sickness and chronic pain in the elderly. In particular, female participants associate aging with the growth of children and males associate aging with environmental changes. According to another finding, the participants stated that latent aging was associated with chronic pain in the body, chronic/palliative diseases, physical changes. Individual effects of latent aging were determined as tiredness, fatigue, arthritis pain, burnout, unjustified pain, stress, anxiety and nervousness. Medical effects of latent aging were determined as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), high blood pressure, nephrotic syndrome, digestive and stomach diseases. According to the findings, there were no high effects of latent aging in terms of social effects. Diseases with age-related symptoms associated with aging were identified by the participants as alzheimer’s, dementia, parkinson’s disease, cancer and SLE. These findings constitute the level of imitation of latent aging.
The responses obtained from the participants and the medical reports were evaluated together in this study. The study carried out in order to determine the effects of latent aging on individuals and the types of diseases associated with this aging type. The perception of latent aging allows the imitating of elderly individuals via cognitive learning and the comparison of experience with the states of the individual. Sense of latent aging, medical effects, and the imitation levels together indicate that palliative diseases and SLE are associated with latent aging. Chronic diseases and pains, mental illnesses were associated with aging by the pariticipants in latent aging. The findings supported the physical, physiological, psychosocial, psychological and cognitive consequences of aging [1,2,3,10]. The participants believed that, despite their age between 18 and 30, they were old and these perceptions led them to medical illness. In addition, the participants believed that the diseases of the elderly individuals that they scrutinized would occur in themselves. The imitating ability of SLE which was one of these diseases was proved. Fatigue, arthritis pain, burnout, stress, anxiety, nervousness, and chronic pain were detected in the participants (especially in women) who scrutinized elderly individuals with SLE. These symptoms are in line with the clinical symptoms of SLE [11-15]. It can be said that these symptoms are caused by the fear of developing cognitive and palliative diseases (monopathophobia ) observed in elderly individuals from whom the individual was scrutinized. However, this finding should be supported by clinical research.
The findings of the study revealed that latent aging is an exception to socio-emotional selectivity theory. Socio-emotional selectivity theory, which is based on the perception that each individual’s perceptions vary according to age, is based on the idea that time is perceived as limited due to the advancement of age and emotions are prioritized [16,17]. However, the findings of the study revealed the exception of this theory. The individual encodes the events associated with them as “cognitive acceptance” and “aging”, the negative effects of this perception are also manifested. There was no study on these findings in the literature. The concept and theory of latent aging was first introduced by this study. However, despite its strengths, the study had some limitations. Small sample size was the limitation of the study. It is recommended that this study be conducted with samples with different cultural characteristics. In particular, clinical studies are recommended to reveal the association between palliative diseases and latent aging of SLE patients.
In this study, it was revealed that individuals’ perceptions of aging were exposed to latent aging through cognitive learning and acceptance regardless of age. In addition, the association of latent aging with palliative diseases and SLE was proved.
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