Knowledge about aging and worry in older adults: testing the mediating role of intolerance of uncertainty

Roberto Nuevo, Julie Loebach Wetherell, Ignacio Montorio, Miguel A. Ruiz, Isabel Cabrera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: This study aims to explore the relationship between knowledge about aging and severity of worry in older adults, and to test the potential mediational role of intolerance of uncertainty.

METHOD: The sample was composed of 120 community-dwelling older adults, with a mean of age of 71.0 years (SD = 6.3). Mediational analyses and structural equation modeling were used to analyze and compare different models.

RESULTS: Greater knowledge about aging was negatively related to both intolerance of uncertainty and worry, and its effect on worry was partially mediated by intolerance of uncertainty. The mediational model obtained an excellent fit to the data (i.e. Goodness of fit index (GFI) = 0.995) and clearly had a better fit than alternative models.

CONCLUSION: These results suggest that a good knowledge of the aging process could help decrease aversive uncertainty and thus reduce the level of worry among older adults. Thus, educational programs to increase knowledge about aging could serve as one preventive strategy for anxiety in old age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-141
Number of pages7
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number1
Early online date5 Feb 2009
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

© 2009 Taylor & Francis


  • aging
  • anxiety
  • health knowledge
  • psychological models
  • psychological tests
  • regression analysis
  • Spain
  • stereotyping
  • uncertainty


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