For better and for worse: The relationship between future expectations and functioning in the second half of life

Amit Shrira, Yuval Palgi, Menachem Ben-Ezra, Tal Spalter, Gitit Kavé, Dov Shmotkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Objectives. To examine age group differences in the relationship between future expectations about standards of living and physical, mental, and cognitive functioning in the second half of life. Method. Data from the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe (N = 27,687, mean age = 64.44). Results. First, with increasing age, the expectation to improve (ETI) and the expectation to worsen (ETW) in standards of living became more independent of each other. Second, with increasing age, ETI was less strongly correlated with functioning whereas ETW was more strongly correlated with it. Third, with increasing age, the relationship between ETI and functioning was more strongly moderated by ETW, so that adaptive functioning was associated with expectations that no major change is to occur and with expectations for both growth and decline. Discussion. Late-life positive and negative expectancies are less interdependent than they are in younger age, probably due to their stronger interaction when associating with functioning. Expectancies interact either to reflect an attempt to preserve the functional status quo (low expectancy to improve and to decline) or may signal a highly complex mental organization (high expectancy to improve and to decline).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-203
Number of pages9
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume66 B
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
European Commission (QLK6-CT-2001-00360, RII-CT-2006-062193, CIT5-CT-2005-028857) to SHARE data collection. U.S. National Institute on Aging (U01 AG09740-13S2, P01 AG005842, P01 AG08291, P30 AG12815, Y1-AG-4553-01, OGHA 04-064); U.S. National Institute on Aging (R21 AG025169), German–Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development, and National Insurance Institute of Israel to SHARE data collection in Israel.


  • Aging
  • Functioning
  • Future expectations


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