29.03.2023 | Themenschwerpunkt
Self-reported hearing and awareness of age-related change
A domain-specific perspective
Erschienen in: Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und GeriatrieEinloggen, um Zugang zu erhalten
Impaired hearing is associated with disadvantages in developmental outcomes, such as compromised everyday social communication or reduced well-being. Hearing impairment might also have an impact on how individuals evaluate their own aging as deterioration in hearing can be interpreted as being age-related and as a phenomenon individuals attribute to getting older.
This study investigated how self-reported hearing is related to awareness of age-related change (AARC).
Material and methods
AARC is a multidimensional construct comprising perceived age-related gains and losses in general as well as across five functional domains (health and physical functioning, cognitive functioning, interpersonal relations, social cognitive and social emotional functioning, lifestyle and engagement). A sample of 423 individuals (age range 40–98 years; mean age, M = 62.9 years; standard deviation (SD) = 11.8 years) was assessed up to 3 times over approximately 5 years.
Based on longitudinal multilevel regression models, controlling for age, gender, subjective health and education, it was found that poorer self-reported hearing was associated with more perceived general AARC losses as well as with more AARC losses in health and physical functioning and in cognitive functioning at baseline. With an older age at baseline, poorer self-reported hearing was associated with a steeper decline in AARC gains regarding interpersonal relations over time, whereas in those who were younger at baseline poorer hearing was related to fewer gains in social cognitive and social emotional functioning at baseline.
Self-reported hearing reveals differential associations with AARC domains; however, changes in most AARC domains of gains and losses seem to be only weakly related to subjective hearing.