The nature and cross-domain correlates of subjective age in the oldest old: Evidence from the octo study

Frank J. Infurna, Denis Gerstorf, Suzanne Robertson, Stig Berg, Steven H. Zarit

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Abstract

Self-reflections of age and aging are predictors for key outcomes such as mortality, but little is known about the nature and potential antecedents of subjective age in very old age. We used cross-sectional data from the Swedish OCTO study (N = 267; B. Johansson & S. H. Zarit, 1995) and found that almost two thirds of the 84- to 90-year-olds reported not feeling old. Multinomial logistic regression analyses indicated that younger age and better physical functioning as well as higher well-being and mastery beliefs were all related to not feeling old. In multivariate analyses, however, mastery beliefs emerged as the most consistent and robust predictor of subjective age. Our findings suggest that adaptive capacities may be preserved into advanced age and highlight the pivotal role of perceived control for successful aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)470-476
Number of pages7
JournalPsychology and aging
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2010

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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