Moderating effects of age on relationships between attitudes to aging and well-being outcomes

Farah Nadia Binti Mohd Faudzi, C J Armitage, Christina Bryant, Laura J.E. Brown

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Abstract

Objectives: More positive attitudes to aging are associated with better health and wellbeing outcomes. This study examined whether chronological age moderated relationships between attitudes to aging and wellbeing outcomes, and whether these relationships differ according to the specific attitudinal construct measured.
Method: Participants were 911 adults aged 18-60 years (mean = 36.63 years). Attitudes to ageing were measured using the Malay Reactions to Ageing Questionnaire (M-RAQ), which focuses on respondents’ anticipated reactions to being aged over 65 years, and the Malay Anxiety about Ageing Scale (M-AAS), which additionally captures respondents’ fears and anxieties about current aging and older people. Wellbeing outcomes were measured using the Warwick- Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) and the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS).
Results: More positive attitudes to ageing were associated with higher levels of wellbeing and life satisfaction after controlling for age, gender, education, and self-rated health. Age moderated the relationships between the M-AAS and wellbeing and life satisfaction, with stronger relationships in younger adults. No moderating effects of age were found for the M-RAQ.
Conclusion: The difference in the moderating effects of age between measures suggests that the two attitudinal constructs captured by these two measures operate in different ways. In particular, the current emotional/anxiety components of attitudes to ageing may differentially affect wellbeing at different ages. This suggests that interventions aimed at the promotion of wellbeing through coping with aging-related anxieties might be particularly well-suited to younger adults, who may be less able to respond effectively to the anxieties they experience.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAging and Mental Health
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 7 May 2019

Keywords

  • attitudes to ageing
  • age-stereotypes
  • mental health
  • wellbeing
  • satisfaction with life

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