Center Seminar Series – Eric Kim

Eric Kim Headshot

Does Positive Psychological Functioning Influence Health Behaviors in Older Adults? Current Evidence and Future Directions

Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 12:30 – 1:30pm

Health is often characterized as the mere absence of disease or infirmity. However, are there health assets or resilience factors that might help people sustain their health as they age? In his lecture, Center Affiliate Dr. Eric Kim discussed recently published and currently ongoing studies that examined this question. He began by describing how positive psychological factors are assessed and then described a recently published study that showed a link between higher optimism and reduced risk from several causes of mortality. Dr. Kim then went on to describe studies that examined the link between positive psychological factors and health behaviors, a possible mechanism that links positive psychological functioning with better health. He discussed studies showing that higher positive psychological functioning is associated with increased use of preventive doctor visits, increased physical activity, and slower declines in grip strength and walking speed as people age.