Data on Covid-19 so far has indicated that men are more vulnerable than women, and the elderly more vulnerable than the young. Now, a study has found that older men worry less about Covid-19 than women their age or than younger men and women, and thus may be at greater risk of contracting it. This is a concern given that older men are already more at risk, according to the study by researchers at Georgia State University, and published in The Journals of Gerontology.
In general, worry begins to ease with age, and is also lower among men than women. “Not only do older adults exhibit less negative emotions in their daily lives, they also exhibit less worry and fewer PTSD symptoms following natural disasters and terrorist attacks,” gerontology and psychology researcher Sarah Barber said in a statement.
Knowing that older adults tend to worry less, Barber conducted a study to see how this affected responses to the global pandemic. Researchers administered an online questionnaire assessing Covid-19 perceptions and behaviour changes.
The catch was older men: compared to all other participants, older men were less worried about Covid-19, and had adopted the fewest number of behaviour changes. They were relatively less likely to have worn a mask, to report having stopped touching their faces or to have purchased extra food. Barber does not think the answer is to try to incite worry in older men. She thinks a better answer is to help them understand their risk accurately, the university said.
Source: Georgia State University
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