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See detailDomain-specific views on aging and preparation for age-related changes – Development and validation of three brief scales.
Kornadt, Anna Elena UL; Hess, Thomas M; Rothermund, Klaus

in Journals of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences (2020), 75(2), 303-307

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See detailPreparation for Old Age – The Role of Cultural Context and Future Perceptions
Kornadt, Anna Elena UL; Voss, Peggy; Fung, Helene H. et al

in The Journals of Gerontology. Series B. Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences (2019), 74(4), 609--619

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See detailA World of Difference? Domain-Specific Views on Aging in China, the US, and Germany
Voss, Peggy; Kornadt, Anna Elena UL; Hess, Thomas M. et al

in PSYCHOLOGY AND AGING (2018), 33(4), 595-606

Research on cross-national differences in views on aging has often focused on a comparison between Asian and Western countries. However, the results are mixed showing either more positive views in Asia ... [more ▼]

Research on cross-national differences in views on aging has often focused on a comparison between Asian and Western countries. However, the results are mixed showing either more positive views in Asia, no difference at all, or even more positive views in Western countries. A potential moderator of country differences that might explain some of the heterogeneity is the fact that views on aging differ in their content and valence depending on life domains such as health versus family relations. Therefore, our aim was to systematically address domain-specific views on aging in a cross-national study, also considering that cross-national differences are age group-specific. We examined differences in views on aging between China, the United States, and Germany in eight life domains using samples with a broad age range. For most of the domains, cross-national differences indicated more negative views on aging in China compared with the Western countries and more positive views among the American compared with the German participants. Intriguingly, the differences between China and the United States or Germany were absent or even reversed in the domains friends, personality, and finances. Cross-national differences also varied by age group. Our results show that explanations of cross-national differences in views of aging probably do not apply uniformly across all life domains or age groups. They underline the importance of acknowledging the domain-specific nature of views on aging in cross-national research. [less ▲]

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See detailSubjective Age Across the Life Span: A Differentiated, Longitudinal Approach
Kornadt, Anna Elena UL; Hess, Thomas M.; Voss, Peggy et al

in JOURNALS OF GERONTOLOGY SERIES B-PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES (2018), 73(5), 767-777

Objectives: How old people feel compared with their actual age, their so-called "subjective age" (SA), is a central indicator of individual aging experiences and predicts developmental outcomes, such as ... [more ▼]

Objectives: How old people feel compared with their actual age, their so-called "subjective age" (SA), is a central indicator of individual aging experiences and predicts developmental outcomes, such as health and mortality, across the life span. We investigated the multidimensional structure of SA with respect to specific life domains, focusing on domain differences as well as age group differences and age-related changes. Furthermore, we inspected the relationship between SA and how people perceive their future as old persons (future self-views). Method: We assessed these variables in a sample of 593 persons who completed a questionnaire at two time points 4 years apart (baseline-T 1; follow up-T 2) and who were aged 30-80 years at T 1. Results: SA differed across life domains and age groups, and the amount of change in SA across time was also contingent on life domain. Future self-views at T 1 predicted subsequent changes in SA, with more negative self-views being associated with an increase in SA, especially for middle-aged participants for whom the transition to older age is imminent. Discussion: Our results provide support for a multidimensional view of subjective aging experiences. They highlight the importance of a differentiated investigation of subjective aging constructs and their relations for understanding how these variables shape the aging process. [less ▲]

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See detailContext Influences on the Relationship Between Views of Aging and Subjective Age: The Moderating Role of Culture and Domain of Functioning
Hess, Thomas M.; O'Brien, Erica L.; Voss, Peggy et al

in PSYCHOLOGY AND AGING (2017), 32(5), 419-431

Subjective age has been shown to reliably predict a variety of psychological and physical health outcomes, yet our understanding of its determinants is still quite limited. Using data from the Aging as ... [more ▼]

Subjective age has been shown to reliably predict a variety of psychological and physical health outcomes, yet our understanding of its determinants is still quite limited. Using data from the Aging as Future project, the authors examined the degree to which views of aging influence subjective age and how this influence varies across cultures and domains of everyday functioning. Using data from 1,877 adults aged from 30 to 95 years of age collected in China, Germany, and the United States, they assessed how general attitudes about aging and perceptions of oneself as an older adult influenced subjective age estimates in 8 different domains of functioning. More positive attitudes about aging were associated with older subjective ages, whereas more positive views of self in old age were associated with younger subjective age. It is hypothesized that these effects are reflective of social-comparison processes and self-protective mechanisms. These influences varied considerably over contexts, with views of aging having a greater impact in domains associated with stronger negative stereotypes of aging (e.g., health) compared to those with more positive ones (e.g., family). Culture also moderated the impact of aging views in terms of the strength of prediction, direction of effect, and age of greatest influence, presumably due to cultural differences in the salience and strength of aging-related belief systems across contexts. The results illustrate the contextual sensitivity of subjective age and highlight the role played by an individual's views of old age-both in general and regarding oneself-in determining their own experience of aging. [less ▲]

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See detailContext Influences on the Subjective Experience of Aging: The Impact of Culture and Domains of Functioning
O'Brien, Erica L.; Hess, Thomas M.; Kornadt, Anna Elena UL et al

in GERONTOLOGIST (2017), 57(2), 127-137

Background and Objectives: Attitudes about aging influence how people feel about their aging and affect psychological and health outcomes in later life. Given cross-cultural variability in such attitudes ... [more ▼]

Background and Objectives: Attitudes about aging influence how people feel about their aging and affect psychological and health outcomes in later life. Given cross-cultural variability in such attitudes, the subjective experience of aging (e.g., subjective age [ SA]) may also vary, potentially accounting for culture-specific patterns of aging-related outcomes. Our study explored cultural variation in SA and its determinants. Research Design and Methods: American (N = 569), Chinese (N = 492), and German (N = 827) adults aged 30-95 years completed a questionnaire that included instruments measuring basic demographic information, SA, beliefs about thresholds of old age, control over life changes, and age dependency of changes in eight different life domains (i.e., family, work). Results: Analyses revealed consistency across cultures in the domain-specificity of SA, but differences in the amount of shared variance across domains (e.g., Chinese adults exhibited greater homogeneity across domains than did Americans and Germans). Cultural differences were also observed in levels of SA in some domains, which were attenuated by domain-specific beliefs (e.g., control). Interestingly, beliefs about aging accounted for more cultural variation in SA than did sociodemographic factors (e.g., education). Discussion and Implications: Our results demonstrate that subjective perceptions of aging and everyday functioning may be best understood from a perspective focused on context (i.e., culture, life domain). Given its important relation to functioning, examination of cross-cultural differences in the subjective experience of aging may highlight factors that determine variations in aging-related outcomes that then could serve as targets of culture-specific interventions promoting well-being in later life. [less ▲]

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