Physical Performance and Physical Self-Efficacy in the Elderly: A Pilot Study

Rudolf J. Bosscher, Hanneke Van Der, Marielle Van Dasler, Dorly J.H. Deeg, Johannes H. Smit

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This study examined the relationship between physical performance and physical self-efficacy beliefs in older adults. It was hypothesized that subjects who perform better on physical tasks would show more positive beliefs of physical self-efficacy. Information was obtained from 124 subjects (61 men and 63 women) aged 55 to 85 years. Tests of mobility, strength, and dexterity were administered, as well as a self-report questionnaire of physical self-efficacy. Although most physical performance indexes were observed to be at lower levels after 75 years of age, physical self-efficacy beliefs in women did not show this pattern if the drop in physical performance was relatively small. Male subjects in the age group of 75 years and older however, showed substantial lower levels of performance in most of the tests, which was associated with more negative beliefs of physical self-efficacy. This was corroborated by multiple regression analyses, showing that sex was a significant predictor of physical self-efficacy beliefs in most performance tests. This prediction was moderated by age such that older men had more negative beliefs of physical self-efficacy than older women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-475
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1995

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