Age identity, gender, and perceptions of decline: Does feeling older lead to pessimistic dispositions about cognitive aging?

Markus H. Schafer, Tetyana P. Shippee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives. Drawing on past studies of age identity, this article examined whether feeling older was associated with more pessimistic views about cognitive aging. Methods. Using respondents aged 55 years and older in the Midlife Development in the United States study, we estimated a series of linear regression models to predict people's dispositions toward their cognitive aging. The main comparison is whether the effects of age identity on cognitive aging differ for men and women. Results. Beyond the effects of chronological age, older age identities were associated with more pessimistic dispositions about cognitive aging. This relationship, however, was found only among women. Discussion. Age identity shapes cognitive aging dispositions, though the gendered nature of this relationship remains somewhat unclear. The findings give further evidence about the far-reaching implications of age identity for successful aging and suggest that future work can explicate how subjective aging processes may differ by gender.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume65 B
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Age identity
  • Cognitive aging
  • Cognitive decline
  • Gender
  • Subjective age

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