SEX DIFFERENCES IN STRESS, ILLNESS AND COPING RESOURCES AMONG THE NIGERIAN ELDERLY

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Abstract:

Since studies have found only a moderate relationship between life change and illness, researchers have begun to study “coping resources” that facilitate adjustment to life events. Using a sample of 115 elderly residing in the small city of Awe in the Southwestern part of Nigeria, this study examines the relationship between life change and illness for each sex to determine if elderly men and women differ in their vulnerability to life change stress and to identify differences in what serves as a coping resource. The results suggest that elderly women are more responsive to life changes. For women, marriage and self-efficacy were exacerbators; for men, having a confidant exacerbated illness. Resources functioning as coping facilitators for young age groups potentially function as coping inhibitors when related to the largely negative/uncontrollable events of old age. In addition, the sexes may differ in the factors that serve as coping resources.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1994.22.3.239

Publication date: January 1, 1994

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