Ageist attitudes are associated with will-to-live and moderated by age, medical conditions and attitudes toward aging

Racheli Lital Gvili, Ehud Bodner

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5 Scopus citations


The extent to which older adults’ ageist attitudes associate with their will-to-live has barely been studied. Moreover, whether this effect is moderated by older adults’ age, medical conditions, and attitudes toward their own aging has not been investigated. These associations were examined by two studies. Study 1 examined the relationship between ageist attitudes and will-to-live among individuals aged 48–97, and the moderating roles of age and medical conditions on this connection. Study 2 reassessed this connection in a new sample of older adults (people aged 60–94 years) and examined the moderating role of their attitudes toward aging in this regard. In line with the hypothesis of the first study, ageist attitudes and will-to-live were negatively associated among older adults with more medical conditions. In accordance with the hypotheses of study 2, the ageist attitudes and will-to-live connection was reconstructed, and when regressed on the ageist attitudes × attitudes toward aging interaction, it remained significant only among those with increased ageist attitudes. These findings demonstrate the negative effect that ageist attitudes may have on will-to-live, especially among the very old, and particularly when their health deteriorates, and support the utility of interventions aimed at increasing their will-to-live.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6736
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Ageism
  • Attitudes toward aging
  • Medical conditions
  • Stereotypes
  • Will-to-live


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