Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Differences between younger (N=78) and older (N=78) adults' frequency of experience of interpersonal problems were examined. Previous research has shown age-related declines in contact frequency and negative interactions (Akiyama, et al., 2003; Carstensen, 1992). Aging has also been associated with concurrent increases in emotional closeness and relationship satisfaction with social partners (Birditt, et al., 2005; Lang & Carstensen, 2002), and social self-efficacy and problem-solving effectiveness (Artistico, Cervone, and Pezzuti, 2003; Blanchard-Fields, Mienaltowski, & Seay, 2007; Lachman, 1986). In the current study, older adults reported experiencing interpersonal problems significantly less often than younger adults. Older adults also reported less contact frequency with social partners, more self-efficacy, more positive relationship quality, and a lower degree of negative relationship quality than younger adults. Contact frequency and negative relationship quality both predicted frequency of experience of interpersonal problems. Among the contact frequency, self-efficacy, positive and negative relationship quality variables, none mediated an observed inverse relation between age and interpersonal problem frequency. Limitations and implications of the current study, as well as directions of future research are discussed.
Schlosnagle, Leo, "Age differences in younger and older adults' experience of interpersonal problems" (2009). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 4527.