Associations between secret-keeping and quality of life in older adults

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Abstract

This study examined the effects of secrecy on quality of life in a sample consisting of older adults (>50 years; N = 301). Three key components of secrecy were examined with the Tilburg Secrecy Scale-25 (TSS25; possession of a secret, self-concealment, and cognitive preoccupation). The TSS25 distinguishes between the tendency to conceal personal information (self-concealment) and the tendency to worry or ruminate about the secret (cognitive preoccupation), thereby enabling investigation of the effects of secrecy on quality of life in detail. Confirming previous findings in younger samples, we found a positive effect of possession of a secret on quality of life, after controlling for both TSS25’s self-concealment and cognitive preoccupation. This suggests that keeping secrets may have a positive association with quality of life in older adults as well, as long as they do not have the tendency to self-conceal and are not cognitively preoccupied with their secret.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-265
JournalInternational Journal of Aging & Human Development
Volume88
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • ATTITUDES
  • CONSEQUENCES
  • INHIBITION
  • PEOPLE
  • SELF-CONCEALMENT
  • STIGMA
  • cognitive preoccupation
  • older adults
  • quality of life
  • secrecy
  • self-concealment

Cite this

@article{22bb59ae9cfa4e02bc4883a995a44494,
title = "Associations between secret-keeping and quality of life in older adults",
abstract = "This study examined the effects of secrecy on quality of life in a sample consisting of older adults (>50 years; N = 301). Three key components of secrecy were examined with the Tilburg Secrecy Scale-25 (TSS25; possession of a secret, self-concealment, and cognitive preoccupation). The TSS25 distinguishes between the tendency to conceal personal information (self-concealment) and the tendency to worry or ruminate about the secret (cognitive preoccupation), thereby enabling investigation of the effects of secrecy on quality of life in detail. Confirming previous findings in younger samples, we found a positive effect of possession of a secret on quality of life, after controlling for both TSS25’s self-concealment and cognitive preoccupation. This suggests that keeping secrets may have a positive association with quality of life in older adults as well, as long as they do not have the tendency to self-conceal and are not cognitively preoccupied with their secret.",
keywords = "ATTITUDES, CONSEQUENCES, INHIBITION, PEOPLE, SELF-CONCEALMENT, STIGMA, cognitive preoccupation, older adults, quality of life, secrecy, self-concealment",
author = "J. Maas and A.A.J. Wismeijer and {van Assen}, M.A.L.M.",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.1177/0091415018758447",
language = "English",
volume = "88",
pages = "250--265",
journal = "International Journal of Aging & Human Development",
issn = "0091-4150",
publisher = "Baywood Publishing Co. Inc.",
number = "3",

}

Associations between secret-keeping and quality of life in older adults. / Maas, J.; Wismeijer, A.A.J.; van Assen, M.A.L.M.

In: International Journal of Aging & Human Development, Vol. 88, No. 3, 2019, p. 250-265.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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