Adaptation to disability among middle-aged and older adults: the role of assimilative and accommodative coping.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the links among coping, disability, and mental health among adults who are confronted with age-related vision loss. Drawing on the model of assimilative and accommodative coping (e.g., Brandtstadter, 1999), hierarchical regressions were designed to examine the effects of coping and disability on mental health. Participants were 55 middle-aged and 52 older adults who had been recruited from a community-based rehabilitation agency. Findings demonstrate a critical role of accommodative coping for adaptation, with beneficial effects on mental health that were more pronounced in the case of high disability for younger participants. Finally, findings suggest that dealing with disability may pose more of a mental health risk in middle than in late adulthood.