Positive and negative ageing perceptions account for health differences between older immigrant and native populations in the Netherlands

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Abstract

Background: This study assessed the extent to which persistent differences in self-rated health (SRH) between older immigrants and natives are attributable to negative and positive ageing perceptions. Methods: The study was conducted with three population groups in Rotterdam, the Netherlands: native Dutch people aged ≥70 years (n = 1150), Turkish immigrants aged ≥65 years (n = 680) and Moroccan immigrants aged ≥65 years (n = 292). To assess participants’ internal ageing representations, we used the short Aging Perceptions Questionnaire, which distinguishes negative (consequences, chronic and cyclical timeline awareness, and emotional representations) and positive (positive consequences, positive and negative control) dimensions and has been validated in native and immigrant populations. We analysed differences in ageing perceptions between immigrants and natives and the associations of ageing perceptions with SRH. We used Karlson–Holm–Breen decomposition to assess ageing perceptions’ mediation of the relationship between migration background and SRH. Results: Older immigrants had stronger negative and weaker positive ageing perceptions (excepting the positive consequences of ageing) than did Dutch natives. Ageing perceptions mediated the relationship between migration background and SRH. SRH differences between Turkish immigrants and native Dutch older persons were explained mainly by differences in negative consequences and cyclical timeline awareness. SRH differences between Moroccan immigrants and native Dutch older persons were attributable mainly to differences in negative consequences and positive control. Conclusions: Differences in positive and negative ageing perceptions between older immigrants and natives in the Netherlands largely explained SRH differences between these population groups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number190
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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