Subjective Age and Its Correlates Among Middle-Aged and Older Adults

Shiri Shinan-Altman, Perla Werner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The present study evaluates discrepancies in subjective age as reported by middle-age persons (aged 44–64 years) in comparison to older adults (aged 65 years and older), using a multidimensional definition of the concept. A convenience sample of 126 middle-aged and 126 older adults completed subjective age measures (felt age, desired age, and perceived old age), attitudes toward older adults, knowledge about aging, and sociodemographic questionnaires. Overall, participants reported feeling younger than they actually were and wanting to be younger than their chronological age. Perceived mean for old age was about 69 years. Discrepancies in felt age and desired age were significantly larger for the older group compared to the middle-aged group. Regarding perceived old age, compared to the younger group, older adults reported that old age begins at an older age. Findings suggest that middle-aged and older adults’ perceptions regarding themselves and regarding old age in general are independent and need, therefore, separate research and practical attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-21
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.


  • middle aged
  • older adults
  • subjective age


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