Longitudinal associations between perceived age discrimination and subjective well-being: variations by age and subjective life expectancy

Sharon Avidor, Liat Ayalon, Yuval Palgi, Ehud Bodner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Perceived age discrimination can have negative effects on one's subjective well-being (SWB). The response to age discrimination might differ based on age, and based on perceived longevity, or subjective life expectancy (SLE). These differential effects have not yet been prospectively examined within adult life span samples. Method: We examined the association between perceived age discrimination at baseline (T1) and SWB at follow-up (T2), and the moderation effect of SLE. We compared differences in these effects between middle-aged and older adults. Analyses were based on participants who took part in the 2008 (T1) and 2011 (T2) assessments of the German Ageing Survey (DEAS; listwise N = 1534), a population-based representative sample of the German adult population. Participants were categorized as middle-aged (ages 40–64; n = 919) or older adults (ages 65–93; n = 615). Results: Regression analyses indicated that T1 perceived age discrimination significantly predicts lower T2 SWB among middle-aged, but not among older adults, after adjusting for covariates and T1 SWB. There is a significant interaction between age discrimination and SLE for predicting SWB, only among middle-aged participants, suggesting that age discrimination predicts decreases in SWB for those reporting higher, but not lower levels of SLE. Conclusion: People in the transition from midlife to old age, who hold higher SLE, appear to be more vulnerable to age discrimination. This may be due to the experience of age discrimination as an ‘off-time’, or unexpected event for those in midlife who have a higher expectation to live longer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-765
Number of pages5
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume21
Issue number7
Early online date16 Mar 2016
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Age discrimination
  • subjective life expectancy
  • subjective well-being

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