Aging anxiety has been linked with negative psychological and physical consequences. However, little is known about the association between aging anxiety, meaning in life, and psychological distress among middle-aged adults. Accordingly, the current study examines the links between these constructs among this age-group. Moreover, in light of the importance of age as a cognitive category for one’s self-perception, we examined the moderating role of age awareness for the aforementioned links. A convenience sample of 309 adults (age range 40–65, M = 53.92, SD = 7.38) filled out scales assessing aging anxiety, meaning in life, psychological distress, and age awareness, together with various sociodemographic scales. Results demonstrated that aging anxiety was associated with reduced meaning in life and increased psychological distress. Moreover, meaning in life mediated the aging anxiety-psychological distress link, and this mediation was moderated by age awareness. The results are discussed from the perspective of Terror Management Theory, and clinical implications are suggested.
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- Age awareness
- Aging anxiety
- Meaning in life
- Psychological distress
- Terror management theory