Age, anxiety, and self-reported health.
A sample of 472 normal males ranging in age from twenty-five to eighty-two was divided into anxious and adjusted groups on the basis of a cluster analysis of the Cattell 16PF test, and compared for scores on a self-report measure of health. While the anxious men reported more symptoms than the adjusted in the young and middle age groups, there was no difference in the old group. Although anxiety was found to be unrelated to health as evaluated by physicians' examinations, the anxious men indeed reported more health problems in eight major areas of health concern than was warranted by their actual physical health status. This relation also did not hold in the old group. Anxious men seemed to be more vagilant about their health in young and middle age groups, but not in the old group. This was interpreted as a defensive denial of symptoms in the old anxious group; for a person with trait anxiety, anxiety about approaching death and increasing health problems is just too much to bear, and he resorts to denying symptoms in an effort to diminish his anxiety.
McCrae, RR; Bartone, PT; Costa, PT
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