The present study aimed to examine how changes in positive and negative affect and their interaction predict changes in felt age in a longitudinal design of two waves drawn from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Participants (n = 4174) at an average age of 67.97 completed the 2008 and 2012 left behind questionnaire of the HRS. Our results showed that an increase in positive affect and a decrease in negative affect from Wave 1 to Wave 2 predicted an accelerated decrease in felt age. There was an interaction effect showing that for those with an increase in negative affect, a higher change in positive affect predicted reduced odds for accelerated increase in felt age. To conclude, improving favorable change in the combination between positive and negative affect might in turn relate to the individual’s self-perceptions of aging, in the second half of life.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The HRS is supported by the National Institute on Aging [grant number NIA U01AG009740] and the Social Security Administration. The cooperation of the authors in this paper was supported by COST action 1402 Ageism form, a multi-national, interdisciplinary perspective.
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- Health and Retirement Study
- Positive affect
- negative affect
- older adults
- subjective age