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The Sense of Coherence, Self-Perception of Aging and the Occurrence of Depression Among the Participants of the University of the Third Age Depending on Socio-Demographic Factors

Authors Zielińska-Więczkowska H, Sas K

Received 30 April 2020

Accepted for publication 11 July 2020

Published 25 August 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 1481—1491


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Halina Zielińska-Więczkowska, Katarzyna Sas

Department of Social and Medical Sciences, Nicolaus Copernicus University Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz, Bydgoszcz, Poland

Correspondence: Katarzyna Sas
Department of Social and Medical Sciences, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz, ul Świętojańska 20, Bydgoszcz 85077, Poland

Purpose: The aim of the study was to assess the relationship between the sense of coherence and self-perception of aging and the risk of depression among attendees of the University of the Third Age (U3A). The influence of socio-demographic factors was studied.
Participants and Methods: The study involved 315 attendees of the U3A aged on average 68.4 years, age range 60– 82 years old. The overwhelming majority were women (91.7%). Cross-sectional research was conducted using standardized questionnaires – the SOC-29 scale, the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS – brief version) and the author’s own questionnaire regarding self-perception of aging.
Results: The study participants showed an average level of sense of coherence (130.7± 23.2). The highest number of people obtained average results of sense of coherence, both in terms of global SOC (75.2%) and its components. The highest scores on the SOC-29 scale were found for the sense of comprehensibility (41.3%). The mean value of the self-perception of aging was 69.0± 16.0 and indicates the lower range of results for positive attitude. Nearly ¾ (72.1%) of the respondents had a positive self-perception of aging. The values of the scale of self-perception of aging showed a statistically significant relation to the global level of sense of coherence and its components (p< 0.001). In people without depression, positive self-perception of aging was significantly more frequent than among participants with depression of increasing intensity. Education was significantly correlated with the results of the SOC-29 scale, the self-perception of aging scale and the GDS scale.
Conclusion: From the U3A research group, better educated elderly people have a higher sense of coherence and show a more positive self-perception of aging. Moreover, these people are less likely to show signs of senile depression.

Keywords: sense of coherence, SOC, self-perception of aging, depression, socio-demographic factors, University of the Third Age, U3A

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