Adjustment among Aged
*Dr. Farida Shannz ** Chandrakant Jamadar
In Indian society old man and woman are recognized as mentors and advisors for the young generation. But this concept is reducing to a great extent due to decrease in joint families and the busy scheduled of the younger folk. Obviously old people are also putting their efforts to come out of their frustration by maintaining psychological distance with young generation. Due to this distance they are prone to develop certain adjustmental problems. A large segment of aged people find it difficult to accept that aging in a natural process. Old age is a sign of decline both physically and mentally. Aged people are found to be confused, dependent and insecure, on the other side we also find old people who are active, healthy, satisfied, independent and secured in many resects. Due to better living conditions and better health care, most people do not show mental and physical sign of aging even during their middle sixties or early seventies. The early old age which begin at 60 is the age of retirement. Physical and mental alertness is said to be ceasing from this period. Acceptance of aging process, adjustment to decreasing physical strength, adjustment to retirement and reduced income, adjustment to death of spouse and friends, adjustment to new generation are some of the development task of old age life. Successful adjustment to the physical and social changes of aging can be explained by disengagement theory (Cumming and Henry 1961), which explain that elderly persons welcome disengagement since it relieves them of roles and responsibilities; they have become less able to fulfill. Likewise society benefits from disengagement as younger persons with new energy and skills fill position vacated by aging individuals. Another view of aging is provided by Activity theory which assures that activity is the essence of life, for people of all ages. They predict that people who remain active physically, mentally and socially will adjust better to aging (Havinghhhurst 1976). Alex comfort (1976) has charged that the concept of oldness is used to expel people from useful work. Retirement which usually cuts income in half at a set age is another name for dismissal and unemployment. Old people will have four needs-dignity, money, proper medical care and useful work.
* Asst. Professor in psychology Gulbarga University, Gulbarga.
** Asst. Professor, P.G. Studies in Psychology Maharani Arts and Commerce college for Women's Mysore.
To understand the aged, it is necessary to probe into their problems and understand their physical and mental state and assist them to adjust to the social conditions in which they dwell. Much research has been done to study the problems of old age (Agnihotri 1976, Duta 1989, Hussains 1985).
In the present study an attempt is made to find out the differences in health, home, social, marital, emotional and financial adjustment of male and female old people in the age group of 60-70 years and 71 and above.
Shamshad-Jasber old age adjustment inventory (SJOAI) (1995) is used for the purpose of study. This inventory consist of 125 statements with Yes – No?. The inventory includes six areas of Adjustment Health-26, Home-25, Social-21, Marital-17, Emotional-21, Financial-15. Scoring is done area wise and in total adjustment Higher score indicate better adjustment.
The sample for the present study in selected randomly from Gulbarga City.
71 & above
- The present study aims to investigate the difference in health, home, social, marital, emotional and financial adjustment of aged male and female sample.
- The study also aims to find the difference in the adjustment – health, home, social, marital, emotional, and financial of old people in the age group of 60-70 and 71 & above.
The following hypothesis are framed in the research work.
- The level of adjustment (health, home, social, marital, emotional, financial) differ among male and female aged persons.
- People between 60-70 years are better adjusted than those between 71 & above.
Aging is a sign of decline both physically and mentally. The elders can be helped to feel better physically and psychologically if they continue to be socially active and useful. Withdrawing care, control and social contact from elders is likely to make them sicker, with the feeling of burden on the family. Adjusting to the social surrounding depend mostly on the need fulfillment. The following tables depicts the differences in different areas of adjustment among old people.
Table no. 1 Showing mean, SD and t-value of male- female aged sample in different areas of adjustment (N = 100)
** Significant at 0.01 level of significance
Table no. 1 : Showing the mean, SD and t-value on different areas of adjustment of male and female aged sample. Many research work reveal that during old age female are less adjusted than male in any area of adjustment. The present research has proved the said hypothesis. In the present table the calculated t-value in all the areas of adjustment health, home, social, marital, financial and overall adjustment is significant at 0.001 level, which shows that there is significant difference in male and female aged sample in adjustment. Men are better adjusted than women. In one area i.e emotional adjustment there is no significant difference between male and female. Emotionally old people are found to be less adjusted. Aging bring hormonal changes which effect the emotional feeling of old people. Gender does not bring any difference in their emotional experience. This reveals that old age makes people less adjusted emotionally.
Table No. 2 Showing the Mean, SD and t-value of two aged groups in different areas of adjustment (N =100)
** Significant at 0.01 level of significance
Table no. 2 shows the mean, SD and t-value of old age sample in age group of 664 and 65-70 years. The mean value, and SD in the area health adjustment is 15.2 (2.67) and 10.3 (2.86). the calculated t-value is 9.42 which is significant at 0.01 level of significance. Old people in the age group of 60-70 years are better adjusted health wise than those of 71 & above years. Aging decline the physical development and the body is prone to many disease and weakness.
In the area of home adjustment the mean and SD are 17.1 (1.79) and 17.75 (1.24) and the t-value of 1.75 is not significant. This reveals that the adjustment of both the age group is better in home and age does not effect their adjustment.
Social adjustment during old age depends on the living patterns of people and their past social relations. In this area the mean and SD of both the age group is 16.5 (1.76) and 13.8 (2.17) respectively. The t-value is 6.13 which is significant at 0.01 level and specify that people between 60-70 years are better adjusted socially than the age group of 71 years and above.
Loss of spouse is and usual problem faced by people of this age. If they are lucky enough to survive, they do not have any physical relations as aging will decline their sexual interest and physical weakness will hold them from it. The mean score and SD 12.25 (2.31) and 9.55(3.14) reveals difference in marital adjustment in two age groups. People between 60-70 years are better adjusted with their spouse, where as those between 70 & above have problem in adjustment. The t-value 5.19 picture the significant difference at 0.01 level of significance.
In the area of emotional adjustment the mean and SD 11.2 (2.67) and 10.95 (1.85) reveals slight difference in their emotional adjustment. The t-value 0.53 reveals no significant difference between the two age group sample.
Financial independent individuals can make better adjustment in other areas also. In the early 60's after retirement some aged people take up other jobs and are financially independent. But in the early 70's due to physical weakness and physical-mental disco-ordination they many not be able to work and completely depend on others for financial assistance. The mean score and SD 10.4 (1.3) and 8.1 (1.79) of both the age groups depict this difference in financial adjustment. The t-value 5.89 is significant at 0.01 level, which show that there is significant difference between both the groups.
The overall adjustment among two age groups also differ as seen from the mean and SD 82.55(5.56) and 71.85(5.36). The t-value of 14.65 is significant at 0.01 level of significance. This reveals that the aged between 60-64 years are better adjusted than 65-70 years sample.
- There is significant difference in over all adjustment between male and female sample. Old man are better adjusted than old woman.
- There is significant difference in health, home, social, marital and financial adjustment between old man and women. Men are better adjusted than woman.
- There is no significant difference in emotional adjustment of old man and woman.
- There is significant difference in over all adjustment between two age groups 60-70 years and 70 years and above.
- There is significant difference among both age group in health, social, marital and financial adjustment 60-70 years old are better adjusted than 70 & above year sample.
There is no significant difference in home and emotional adjustment between two age groups.