Date of Award

2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Psychology; College of Arts & Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Marianne Miserandino

Abstract

Learned helplessness is a condition caused by maladaptive thinking related to a sense of powerlessness. It can result from lack of control in the face of life challenges leading to a loss of hope, motivation, and an inability to take action. Learned helplessness can have negative effects on an individual both mentally and physically. In regards to the elderly population, it can cause premature death. Gaining a better understanding of learned helplessness can play a lead role in preventing it and its negative effects in the geriatric population. The aim of the literature review was to answer how to recognize learned helplessness and what methods can be used to alleviate it for the elderly. Healthy aging along with unhealthy aging factors are explored and compared throughout the paper in regards to learned helplessness. Risk factors of learned helplessness are broken down into control, loneliness, depression, personality, adaptability and stereotypes. Alleviation methods regard control, socializing, psychoeducation, and exercise. This thesis calls more attention to the maladaptive thinking in the elderly population and highlights how detrimental it can be. Recommendations include making the condition more known in the institutional setting to not only the caregivers but also the individuals themselves.

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Factors and Alleviation of Learned Helplessness in the Elderly

Learned helplessness is a condition caused by maladaptive thinking related to a sense of powerlessness. It can result from lack of control in the face of life challenges leading to a loss of hope, motivation, and an inability to take action. Learned helplessness can have negative effects on an individual both mentally and physically. In regards to the elderly population, it can cause premature death. Gaining a better understanding of learned helplessness can play a lead role in preventing it and its negative effects in the geriatric population. The aim of the literature review was to answer how to recognize learned helplessness and what methods can be used to alleviate it for the elderly. Healthy aging along with unhealthy aging factors are explored and compared throughout the paper in regards to learned helplessness. Risk factors of learned helplessness are broken down into control, loneliness, depression, personality, adaptability and stereotypes. Alleviation methods regard control, socializing, psychoeducation, and exercise. This thesis calls more attention to the maladaptive thinking in the elderly population and highlights how detrimental it can be. Recommendations include making the condition more known in the institutional setting to not only the caregivers but also the individuals themselves.

 
 

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