What Will They Think? The Relationship between Self-Presentational Concerns and Balance and Mobility Outcomes in Older Women
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UNLABELLED: BACKGROUND/STUDY CONTEXT: Indirect evidence suggests that concerns over the impressions made on others (self-presentational concerns) may be associated with balance-related outcomes in older adults, but no empirical evidence exists to support this speculation. The present study examined the relationship between self-presentational concerns (social anxiety, social physique anxiety, and self-presentational efficacy) and functional mobility, accounting for age, balance confidence, falls, and muscle strength. METHODS: Healthy women (60 years or older; N = 187) completed measures of self-presentational concerns, balance confidence, and fall history, and performed the timed up and go (TUG) test and a test of leg strength. Bivariate correlations were conducted. A hierarchical regression predicted TUG duration from the three self-presentational concerns, controlling for age, balance confidence, falls, and muscle strength to examine the unique variance in TUG duration explained by self-presentational concerns. RESULTS: Self-presentational efficacy was a significant predictor of TUG duration over and above that of age, balance confidence, falls, and muscle strength. The results also showed significant correlations between social anxiety and self-presentational efficacy and TUG duration, between all three self-presentational concerns and balance confidence, and between social physique anxiety and self-presentational efficacy and falls. CONCLUSIONS: Research is needed to examine the causal relationship between these outcomes. Investigating self-presentational concerns in older women may provide novel ways to impact balance-related outcomes in this population. Practical implications for clinicians are discussed, as the social and physical environment may influence self-presentational concerns in this population and subsequently impact assessment and treatment outcomes.
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