Objectives: Older adults have been identified as a high-risk population for COVID-19, therefore it is crucial to understand how they perceived and reacted to the emergency. We examined age-related differences in emotions, cognitive attitudes, and behavioral responses to the COVID-19 crisis. Based on the Socioemotional Selectivity Theory, we expected to find a positive approach in older adults, which may translate into lower compliance with restrictive measures. Methods: We analyzed data (n = 306) from a nation-wide online survey conducted between April 1st and April 16th, 2020. We compared young (18–29 years), middle-aged (30–50 years), and older (65–85 years) adults’ self-reported emotions, attitudes toward the emergency, and compliance with governmental rules. Results: Older adults showed lower negative emotions than young and middle-aged adults. Also, older adults were more confident about COVID-related information received, more favorable toward the restrictive measures, and perceived lower underestimation of the emergency compared to the other age groups. However, older people anticipated a longer time for the emergency to resolve. No age-related differences in compliance with the rules emerged. Conclusion: Older people showed a positive attitude toward the emergency. This attitude was confined in the here and now and did not extend to expectations for the future. Compliance with rules was high across our sample. However, less compliant individuals were also less confident in COVID-related information received by the media and official sources, suggesting the importance of providing precise and reliable information to promote adherence to restrictive measures.

Age-related differences in the perception of COVID-19 emergency during the Italian outbreak

Ceccato I.
Primo
;
Palumbo R.
Secondo
;
Di Crosta A.;La Malva P.;Marchetti D.;Maiella R.;Verrocchio M. C.;Mammarella N.;Palumbo R.
Penultimo
;
Di Domenico A.
Ultimo
2020-01-01

Abstract

Objectives: Older adults have been identified as a high-risk population for COVID-19, therefore it is crucial to understand how they perceived and reacted to the emergency. We examined age-related differences in emotions, cognitive attitudes, and behavioral responses to the COVID-19 crisis. Based on the Socioemotional Selectivity Theory, we expected to find a positive approach in older adults, which may translate into lower compliance with restrictive measures. Methods: We analyzed data (n = 306) from a nation-wide online survey conducted between April 1st and April 16th, 2020. We compared young (18–29 years), middle-aged (30–50 years), and older (65–85 years) adults’ self-reported emotions, attitudes toward the emergency, and compliance with governmental rules. Results: Older adults showed lower negative emotions than young and middle-aged adults. Also, older adults were more confident about COVID-related information received, more favorable toward the restrictive measures, and perceived lower underestimation of the emergency compared to the other age groups. However, older people anticipated a longer time for the emergency to resolve. No age-related differences in compliance with the rules emerged. Conclusion: Older people showed a positive attitude toward the emergency. This attitude was confined in the here and now and did not extend to expectations for the future. Compliance with rules was high across our sample. However, less compliant individuals were also less confident in COVID-related information received by the media and official sources, suggesting the importance of providing precise and reliable information to promote adherence to restrictive measures.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/739147
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