Age Differences in Everyday Problem-Solving Effectiveness: Older Adults Select More Effective Strategies for Interpersonal Problems

Blanchard-Fields, Fredda; Mienaltowski, Andrew; Seay, Renee Baldi
January 2007
Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences & Socia;Jan2007, Vol. 62 Issue 1, pP61
Academic Journal
Using the Everyday Problem Solving Inventory of Cornelius and Caspi, we examined differences in problem-solving strategy endorsement and effectiveness in two domains of everyday functioning (instrumental or interpersonal, and a mixture of the two domains) and for four strategies (avoidance-denial, passive dependence, planful problem solving, and cognitive analysis). Consistent with past research, our research showed that older adults were more problem focused than young adults in their approach to solving instrumental problems, whereas older adults selected more avoidant-denial strategies than young adults when solving interpersonal problems. Overall, older adults were also more effective than young adults when solving everyday problems, in particular for interpersonal problems.


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