Background and Objectives: Proxy decision-making may be flawed by inaccurate perceptions of risk. This may be particularly true when older adults are the targets of the decisions, given the pervasive negative stereotypes about older adults. Methods: In study 1, individuals aged 18- to 87 years (as target persons) as well as one of their close social partners (as informants) reported on the risks they perceived for the target person in various life domains. Study 2 additionally explored potential differences in how people make risky decisions on behalf of younger and older adult targets. Younger (age 18–35 years) and older (age 60–81 years) adults (as target persons of the risk evaluations) as well as informants reported on risk perceptions and the likelihood of risk-taking for health, financial, and social scenarios concerning the target persons. Congruence between self-rated and informant-rated risk perceptions and risk-taking were computed on a dyadic as well as a group level. Results: Informants’ risk perceptions were positively associated with the risks their partners perceived for themselves. Informants and their partners agreed that social risks vary little across adulthood, but they disagreed in terms of recreational, financial, and health risks, and in terms of the decisions they would make. Conclusion: Family members, partners, and close friends are sensitive to vulnerabilities of their social partners, but in some domains and according to their partners’ age they perceive a greater (or smaller) risk than their partners perceive for themselves. In situations requiring surrogate decision-making, people may decide differently from how their social partners would decide for themselves.

This content is only available via PDF.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.