A process-knowledge approach to supporting self-care among older adults

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


We argue that the concept of health literacy, in itself, is less important than lifespan psychological models integrated with a human factors engineering approach for explaining the role of abilities, skills, beliefs, and other mental resources for self-care among older adults and for designing supports for effective self-care. We describe a process-knowledge model of these resources, as well as work investigating how the interplay of age-related processing capacity constraints and knowledge benefits, in combination with characteristics of self-care learning environments, influence comprehension, memory, and decision-making processes involved in older adults' self-care. These findings provide a foundation for our studies that investigated whether redesigned web-based environments support these self-care processes. At the end of the chapter, we return to the health literacy concept to consider its role in health provider contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCognitive Aging
EditorsKara D. Federmeier, Brennan R. Payne
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages27
ISBN (Print)9780323990240
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Publication series

NamePsychology of Learning and Motivation - Advances in Research and Theory
ISSN (Print)0079-7421


  • Cognition
  • Comprehension
  • Health literacy
  • Lifespan psychology
  • Memory
  • Self-care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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