Maria Zarlengo

First Advisor

Gonzalez, David M.

Date Created



The current study explored perceptions of old-age vulnerability by seniors as well as separate and combined effects of social involvement and existential awareness on the level of perceived vulnerability to aging. Two hundred and forty four seniors participated in the study. The data were collected with the use of a 101-question survey based on three published measures plus demographic questions. The dependent (criterion) variable was the vulnerability to old age measured by the Perceived Vulnerability Scale (PVS). The explanatory (predictor) variables included the degree of social involvement measured by the Social Provisions Scale (SPS) and the level of existential awareness measured by Life Attitude Profile -Revised scale (LAP-R). Multiple regression analyses were completed with the use of different predictors: social involvement in general, provided support, existential awareness, and interaction between social involvement and existential awareness. Finally, a hierarchical regression analysis was performed including demographic variables (block one) and components extracted from the social involvement and existential awareness section (block two). The results indicated that existential awareness, social involvement, and demographic factors in combination explained the variance in the criterion to a large degree. Limitations of the study were discussed including the need for further elaboration of theoretical constructs, some aspects of study design, and the homogeneity of the sample of population. Suggestions were provided for future research as well as for clinical applications in work with older adults.

Abstract Format



Counseling psychology; Aging; Behavioral sciences; existential awareness; older adults; seniors; social involvement; vulnerability


175 pages

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