Aging Anxiety in Older Adults: The Role of Self-Esteem and Meaning in Life

Yoav S. Bergman, Ehud Bodner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recently, aging anxiety was linked with existential fears. This study examines whether self-esteem and meaning in life, protective factors against mortality awareness, buffer the association between aging anxiety and depressive symptoms in older adults. 318 communitydwelling participants (aged 65-90 years, M = 73.42, SD = 5.40) completed scales assessing aging anxiety, self-esteem, meaning in life, and depressive symptoms. High aging anxiety and low self-esteem/meaning in life were associated with increased depressive symptoms. Moreover, the link between aging anxiety and depressive symptoms was nullified among participants reporting high levels of self-esteem and meaning in life. We discuss the results from the perspective of terror management theory and suggest that, while aging anxiety may elicit existential concerns, these fears may be mitigated by self-esteem and meaning in life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-201
Number of pages6
JournalGeroPsych: The Journal of Gerontopsychology and Geriatric Psychiatry
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Hogrefe Publishing GmbH. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • aging experiences
  • personal resources
  • terror management theory

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