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Activating and Guiding the Engagement of Seniors with online social networking: Experimental findings from the AGES 2.0 projectObjectives: Guided by theoretical and empirical work attesting to the health benefits of social connections, we tested whether internet connectivity, and training in its use for social purposes, can support the well-being of older adults receiving care. Methods: Participants (N = 76) were randomly assigned to receive 3 months training versus care-as-usual. Cognitive and mental health were assessed before and after the intervention. Results: Results show significant cognitive improvements across time in the training, but not control, group. This effect was mediated through a combination of increased social activity, improved self-competence, and maintained personal identity strength. Indirect effects on mental health outcomes via these processes were also observed. Discussion: These findings suggest that internet access and training can support the self and social connectedness of vulnerable older adults and to contribute positively to well-being.
The value of self-respect for moral and social behaviour: Development of a trait self-respect measureObjective: Research into self-respect is scarce, possibly because self-respect and self-esteem are often treated as interchangeable in popular culture. However, there is evidence that self-respect is a component of global self-esteem that is attached to moral, principled and honourable behaviour, highlighting its unique role in predicting moral behaviour and well-being. The paper reports on the development of the trait self-respect scale (SRS) to stimulate research into this concept. Design: Following pilot work to develop the items, cross-sectional survey and lab-based data were collected to validate the SRS. Methods: Seven convenience adult samples (total N=841) completed the SRS online or in person alongside other validated scales. One sample (N=115) also underwent lab-based tasks measuring moral self-concept and cheating. Results: Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses supported a one-factor structure. The SRS showed good internal consistency (α>.8 in all samples), convergent and discriminant validity. It correlated significantly with self-esteem (r=.40-.61), and with agreeableness, Machiavellianism, positive norm, moral identity internalisation and symbolisation (N=121), moral-based self-esteem, self-control, number of moral trait adjectives recalled in self-related processing (N=115) and religious status (N=230), adjusting for self-esteem. It did not correlate with amount of social comparison, or with competence and social self-esteem, adjusting for self-regard. Moreover, self-respect significantly predicted forms of pro-relationship behaviour, pro-social behaviour (N=114), cheating (self-reported and observed) and well-being (N=81) over and above self-esteem. Conclusion: Findings support the need to consider trait self-respect in investigations of well-being and moral and social functioning, and contribute to debates on the value of self-esteem.