Reference : Momentary Subjective Age is Associated with Perceived and Physiological Stress in the...
Scientific journals : Article
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Multidisciplinary, general & others
Momentary Subjective Age is Associated with Perceived and Physiological Stress in the Daily Lives of Old and Very Old Adults
Kornadt, Anna Elena mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences (DBCS) >]
Pauly, Theresa mailto []
Schilling, Oliver mailto []
Kunzmann, Ute mailto []
Katzorreck, Martin mailto []
Lücke, Anna Jori mailto []
Hoppmann, Christiane mailto []
Gerstorf, Denis mailto []
Wahl, Hans-Werner mailto []
Psychology and Aging
American Psychological Association
[en] Subjective age, that is the age people feel in relation to their chronological age, can vary on a day-to-day and even momentary basis. Previous long-term and daily-diary studies have shown that elevated stress covaries with older subjective age. However, it is an open question whether such links can also be observed at the momentary level within a given day and go beyond self-reports of stress. Moving ahead, we investigated how two indicators of stress (self-reported: perceived stress; physiological: salivary cortisol) are associated with the age people feel on a momentary basis. We examined data from 118 older (Mage = 66.67 years) and 36 very old adults (Mage = 85.92 years) who reported their momentary subjective age and perceived stress and also provided saliva samples up to seven times a day over seven consecutive days. Dynamic structural equation models showed that both higher momentary perceived stress and higher cortisol levels preceding the measurement predicted an older momentary subjective age. In contrast, subjective age at the previous measurement did not predict subsequent stress. These effects were moderated by participant age group and grip strength, albeit not consistently. Our results corroborate and extend earlier findings that both self-reported and physiological stress are important explanatory variables for people’s subjective age variation even on relatively short time scales, and shed light on differential time-ordered dynamics between stress and subjective age in daily life. Findings also inform theoretical models of subjective age that highlight the importance of contextual, momentary influences on how old people feel and help better understand how biological and psychological processes are intertwined in later life.

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