Based on socioemotional selectivity theory, one might predict that older adults’ well-being would be less negatively affected by coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)-stress, as with other stressors, than younger people. However, whether sleep quality, which is negatively affected by aging, is similarly protected from the negative consequences of Covid-19-stress with age is unknown. Here, we examined the association between Covid-19-stress, above and beyond general-stress, and sleep quality and how it varies by age.
From December 2020 to April 2021, 386 adults reported their Covid-19-stress, sleep quality, and resilience in an online study.
While older age was related to lower Covid-19-stress, Covid-19-stress was associated with worse sleep quality with greater age.
These results suggest that at least some aspects of one’s well-being may be more susceptible to the negative consequences of stress with increasing age. Our results might be better understood via the strength and vulnerability integration model, which posits that older adults have increased susceptibility to prolonged and unavoidable stress.