Cultural Frames, Qualities of Life, and the Aging Self

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We used the Self-Concept Enhancement Tactician (SCENT) model to explore whether older Norwegians and Canadians would tactically self-enhance on qualities considered significant within their cultures in their self-perceptions of aging. Qualities were measured using the WHOQOL-BREF and WHOQOL-OLD. Self-perceptions of aging were measured by the Attitudes to Aging Questionnaire. The study is a secondary analysis of data collected in a larger study; 393 older Norwegians and 202 older Canadians were included. The Norwegian and Canadian group self-enhanced their perceptions of psychosocial loss based on harmonious social relationships and being part of a larger social group. For self-perceptions of physical change, both groups self-enhanced on being self-sufficient and being part of a larger social group. Our findings suggest that Norwegians and Canadians are not highly individualistic people and also provide evidence of a bicultural self-perception of aging. Nurses should consider how cultural and individual perspectives affect the care priorities of older people.

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