Author: Robert J. Kastenbaum Ph.D
Many sources of anxiety in the later adult years are mediated by gender- related experiences. Survival is itself correlated with sex/gender: the differential survival gap favoring females increases with advancing adult age. This means that elderly females are more likely to face anxieties related to (a) caring for a terminally ill spouse, (b) grieving his death, and (c) adjusting to postmarital life over an extended period of time. Although fewer elderly men survive their wives, those who do tend to have more difficulty in sharing their grief and seeking social support.Gender is also a significant factor in many other types of vulnerability to anxiety in the later adult years. Elderly women tend to have fewer economic resources than men and, as a result, have more reason to be concerned about basics such as food, transportation, home repairs, heating and telephone bills.