Date of Graduation
Subjective and ideal age were studied in middle-aged and older adults. Subjective age (SA), or how old a person perceives him- or herself to be, has been studied in older adults for over 40 years. Yet, many questions remain concerning what variables contribute to SA, the meaning of SA, and age-group and gender differences in SA. Ideal age (IA), or the age that one perceives to be ideal, has been studied considerably less than SA, and the same questions exist with respect to it. In a partial replication of Jones and Shaw (1996), 40 middle-aged (ages 40-59) and 40 older (60-83) adults participated in this study. Middle-aged men had a younger mean SA than older men, but middle-aged and older women's mean SA's did not differ. No age-group nor gender differences were found for ideal age. These results suggest that although gender differences exist for the pattern of SA development, they do not with respect to IA which may not change significantly after middle adulthood. In overall group analyses, social activity significantly predicted SA, and social activity and health predicted IA. These results suggest that social activity is influential to both subjective and ideal age. The dimensionality of and adults' satisfaction with SA are also discussed.
Jones, Keith T., "Subjective and ideal age in middle-aged and older adults." (1997). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9127.