The impact of perceived overprotection on adjustment to age-related vision loss

Verena Renate Cimarolli, Fordham University

Abstract

The primary goal of the present study was to investigate the impact of perceived overprotection, a negative social network variable, and other social support variables, namely instrumental, affective, and negative support, on the adjustment to age-related vision loss in a sample of recently visually impaired elders 65 years of age and older (N = 400). Optimal adjustment was operationalized as having high environmental mastery and high scores on a vision-specific adaptation measure. Another goal of the present study was to test gender differences in the impact of overprotection on adjustment. Results gained from path analysis demonstrated that functional disability, stemming from vision loss and other co-morbid health conditions, significantly positively impacted social support variables (overprotection, affective support, and instrumental support) and significantly negatively impacted the two indicators of adjustment. In addition, higher levels of overprotection led to decreased mastery and lower scores on the vision specific adaptation measure. Higher overprotection was predicted by both higher levels of instrumental support and higher levels of negative support. All social support variables taken together mediated the impact of functional disability on the outcome variables, but individually they did not. Moreover, higher mastery was predicted by lower levels of both negative support and overprotection, but was unaffected by instrumental and affective support. In contrast, higher scores on the vision specific adaptational measure were predicted by lower levels of overprotection and affective support and by higher levels of instrumental support. Finally, results could not establish any gender differences in regard to the impact of overprotection on outcomes. The results from this research have practical implications for the development and design of vision rehabilitation services, which aim to teach visually impaired individuals to maximize their functional ability and to enable them to lead more independent lives despite a disability. Such social support interventions can address issues around overprotection as well as the potential risks surrounding this mode of social exchange. ^

Subject Area

Gerontology|Psychology, Developmental

Recommended Citation

Verena Renate Cimarolli, "The impact of perceived overprotection on adjustment to age-related vision loss" (January 1, 2002). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3037213.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3037213

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