Predictors of chronological-subjective age discrepancies in younger and older adults
Maki, Susan Anneli
Master of Arts
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Past research indicates that as individuals age, they begin to perceive themselves as subjectively younger than their chronological ages (Linn & Hunter, 1979; Montepare & Lachman, 1989; Staats, 1996). The present study examined four classes of predictors of chronological-subjective age discrepancies in both older and younger adults, ages 21 to 95: (1) psychological, four sources of self-efficacy, self-esteem, and life satisfaction; (2) ageist stereotypes', (3) health factors, the number of health conditions, exercise (perceived & objective measures) and perceived health, and; (4) demographic characteristics, gender, chronological age, retirement status and marital status. Discrepancies between chronological and subjective age were investigated using a modified version of the Cognitive Age Scale items of feel-age and look-age. Contrary to prediction the psychological variables were not the strongest predictors of chronological-subjective age discrepancies. Perceived health and perceived activity predicted feel-age discrepancies, whereas perceived activity and self-efficacy (mastery experiences), predicted look-age discrepancies. Supplementary analyses indicated that all age groups reported feeling younger than their chronological ages and that there were psychological benefits associated with feeling subjectively younger.