Date

2019

Major

Exercise Science (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Daniel Czech

Abstract

Background: Perhaps the most prevalent cause of anxiety among the elderly is the fear of falling (FOF), considering that a fall can lead to serious complications and the decline of health. Kumar et al. found that subjects with a FOF usually have less social support. Therefore, increased social support could possibly decrease the FOF, thus decreasing the likelihood of a fall overall. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between the amount of perceived social support one receives and the FOF among people ages 60 and up. Methods: In order to measure FOF and social support among participants, the Falls Efficacy Scale-International and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support were administered to forty-three individuals ages 60 and older either living in assisted living facilities, independently or with a loved one. Both scales have been shown to be both valid and reliable. Results: Overall, this population did not yield significant results for FOF vs. social support; however, many significant results were found regarding important social and physical factors.

Thesis Summary

Perhaps the most prevalent cause of anxiety among the elderly is the fear of falling. The Falls Efficacy Scale-International and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support were administered to individuals ages 60 and older to examine the relationship between perceived social support and fear of falling.

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