Cognitive style predictors of affect change in older adults.
ABSTRACT Cognitive styles are the lenses through which individuals habitually process information from their environment. In this study, we evaluated whether different cognitive style individual difference variables, such as explanatory style and dispositional optimism, could predict changes in affective state over time in community-dwelling older adults. Based on previous research, we hypothesized that an optimistic explanatory style would be adaptive except when combined with life stressors, but that dispositional optimism would predict positive affective states regardless of life events. We found that older adults with a more optimistic explanatory style for health/cognitive events actually appeared to develop more depressive symptoms over six months of follow-up. However, dispositional optimism and orientation toward the future predicted a better affective profile over time.
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ABSTRACT: According to terror management theory, people are motivated to protect themselves from the potential for anxiety resulting from awareness of mortality. It was hypothesized that increased concern for future generations, and the symbolic immortality this produces, may be particularly important to older adults when awareness of their mortality is increased. In two studies, older and younger adults' generative concern was examined following mortality or control primes. As hypothesized, older adults' generative concern and preference for pro-social over pro-self generativity were greater following reminders of mortality, whereas neither effect was observed among younger adults. For both studies, age differences were only observed when mortality salience was heightened; older and younger adults' generative concern did not differ in control conditions. Results provide support for the hypothesis that younger and older adults differ in their responses to increased awareness of mortality and suggest that older adults respond to death reminders by adopting a more pro-social generative orientation.The International Journal of Aging and Human Development 01/2014; 79(1):1-21. DOI:10.2190/AG.79.1.a · 0.62 Impact Factor
Journal of Religion Spirituality & Aging 01/2014; 26(1):2-21. DOI:10.1080/15528030.2013.807485