Cultural Factors

Little research to date has addressed cultural factors that may affect the expression of worry in older adults. Most extant research has been performed on Caucasian, North American samples. Even in studies in which research has been carried out in other locations (e.g., Spain), cross-cultural comparisons are lacking.

One exception to this trend is a report comparing worries, as assessed by the WSR and the PSWQ, in older Japanese Americans and European Americans (Watari & Brodbeck, 2000). In this study, worry was not related to internment status during World War II, but the interned Japanese group reported higher levels of defensiveness on a scale of social desirability. No reliable differences were found between ethnic groups. In both groups, higher levels of worry were associated with poorer self-rated health and poorer perceived financial status.

A comparison of Polish immigrants and indigenous British older adults found that immigrants reported more worry (Keith, 1995). Worry was related to lower levels of life satisfaction in both groups.

Nuevo and colleagues (submitted) used confirmatory factor analysis and Rasch modeling to examine cross-cultural invariance in an 8-item brief form of the PSWQ. Results supported the use of the PSWQ in American and

Spanish older adults, and more importantly, demonstrated the viability of these techniques for determining the suitability of translated scales.

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