Project

Ageing as Future

Goal: Old age has come to occupy a major part of an individual’s life and it also constitutes a reality to which society at large must adapt. The “Ageing as Future” project investigates how individuals perceive, construe, and prepare for their old age and ageing. We address this topic from an interdisciplinary perspective, combining different methodological approaches that mutually complement and inform each other (in-depth interviews, questionnaires, online assessments, experiments). The project has an international format, with data collection in five different countries (Germany, USA, Hong Kong, Czech Republic, Taiwan), which allows us to study and compare processes of ageing across different societal contexts. The design of our study enables us to interconnect individual and societal factors in understanding processes of ageing. The major topics of our project center around three interrelated themes: Views on ageing, preparation for old age, and time management in old age.

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Maria Clara P. de Paula Couto
added a research item
Retirement is a normative life transition that liberates the individual from the external obligations of employment , being a catalyzer of leisure activity engagement. However, the individual's motivations to engage in leisure activities in the time that is gained after retirement may depend on their future self-views (i.e., views of their own ageing) as well as on their levels of preparation for age-related changes. In this study, therefore, we aim to examine longitudinal changes in levels of engagement in leisure activities that occur around the age of retirement as being influenced by views on ageing and preparation for old age. The sample consisted of 451 persons aged 50-65 years at baseline who participated in the Ageing as Future study at two time points 5 years apart. Participants were split in three age-matched groups: recently retired (in between baseline and follow-up), already retired (at baseline), and individuals who were still working (at follow-up). Findings indicated that changes in levels of leisure differed between groups. Compared to both already retired and still working participants, recently retired participants increased their levels of engagement in leisure activities. Positive views on ageing in the leisure domain (at baseline) predicted subsequent increases in activity levels but group and levels of preparation qualified this effect. A combination of positive views on ageing and preparation for age-related changes is needed for one to make use of the time that is gained with retirement, highlighting their role as determinants of behavior in response to normative life events in later life.
Maria Clara P. de Paula Couto
added a research item
This chapter focuses on prescriptive views of aging, which reflect expectations about how older adults should be and behave. We identify four prescriptive views of aging: Disengagement (making way for young people, using resources moderately, not trying to appear young), activation (staying fit and healthy, maintaining an active and productive lifestyle), wisdom (knowing what is important in life, transcending a personal and self-focused perspective on life), and dignity (leading a dignified life, being respected, and valued). Further, we present two studies in which we investigated our proposed model of prescriptive views of aging. In the first study, we showed that endorsement of disengagement and activation increases with age, reflecting an internalization of those age-based prescriptions. Although these two prescriptive views seem to make opposite claims on older people, we found a positive correlation between them, indicating that both disengagement and activation tapped into the overarching social expectation that older adults should not become a burden to others or to society. In the second study, we found evidence that young people implicitly endorse all four prescriptive views of aging. Prescriptive views of wisdom and dignity specify a meaningful identity for older people and provide guidelines for living well in old age. Alternatively, prescriptive views of disengagement and activation are more ambiguous in that individuals and societies may misuse them for social control functions that aim at justifying maltreatment and exclusion of older people based on the assumption that life becomes less worth living in old age.
Maria Clara P. de Paula Couto
added a research item
In this study, we investigated endorsement of two types of prescriptive views of aging, namely active aging (e.g., prescriptions for older adults to stay fit and healthy and to maintain an active and productive lifestyle) and altruistic disengagement (e.g., prescriptions for older adults to behave altruistically toward the younger generation by granting young people access to positions and resources). The study comprised a large international sample of middle-aged and older adults ( N = 2,900), covering the age range from 40 to 90 years. Participants rated their personal endorsement of prescriptive views of active aging and altruistic disengagement targeting older adults in general (i.e., “In my personal opinion, older adults should…”). Findings showed that endorsement was higher for prescriptions for active aging than for prescriptions for altruistic disengagement. Age groups in the sample differed regarding their endorsement of both prescriptive views of active aging and altruistic disengagement with older adults showing higher endorsement than middle-aged adults did. Prescriptive views of active aging and altruistic disengagement related positively to each other and to the superordinate social belief that older adults should not become a burden, which attests to their functional similarity. In contrast, prescriptive views of active aging and altruistic disengagement were associated with psychological adjustment in opposite ways, with endorsement of active aging (vs. altruistic disengagement) being related to better (vs. worse) adjustment outcomes such as life satisfaction and subjective health. Our findings highlight the internalization of prescriptive views of aging in older people and their implications for their development and well-being.
Anna E. Kornadt
added a research item
The investigation of what enables societies and individuals to age well remains one of the greatest challenges of our time. Views on aging are a decisive factor in this process, and thus, improving their understanding through cross-cultural research is of utmost importance. In the current review, we address the role of socio-ecological variables and cultural values and beliefs when investigating country differences in what people think about older persons and getting old themselves. Several complexities are introduced in terms of a differentiated conceptualization of views on aging that takes life domains and normative prescriptions into account, and also in terms of a differentiated and extended view on the factors through which societal and cultural aspects and views on aging mutually influence each other. We propose that an encompassing, lifespan framework on views on aging enhances our understanding of aging well in different cultural and societal contexts.
Frieder R Lang
added a research item
Throughout adulthood, individuals follow personal timetables of deadlines that shape the course of aging. We examine 6-year-longitudinal data of perceived personal deadlines for starting with late-life preparation across adulthood. Findings are based on a sample of 518 adults between 18 and 88 years of age. Multilevel regression analyses were conducted to explore changes in personal deadlines for preparation in five domains (i.e., finances, end of life, housing, social connected-ness, caregiving) in relation to calendar age, self-rated health, subjective position in life, and sociodemographic variables. Findings suggest that personal deadlines for starting preparatory activities differ depending on calendar age and domain of late-life preparation. Older adults as compared to younger adults are likely to report narrower deadlines for beginning with late-life preparation. Perceived deadlines for late-life preparation were furthermore found to be preponed and slightly dilated over time. Findings suggest that depending on age-graded opportunity structures, individuals flexibly adjust their personal deadlines for late-life preparation. --> See full text (OA) at: https://rdcu.be/b7Pwm
Jana Nikitin
added a research item
Objectives. Attributing life changes to age represents a core marker of the subjective experience of aging. The aims of our study were to investigate views on aging as origins of age-related attributions of life changes, and to investigate the implications of these age-related attributions for personal control and life satisfaction. Method. Life changes and the attribution of life changes to age were independently assessed on a large international sample of older adults (N=2,900, age range 40–90 years) from the Ageing as Future project. The valence of views on aging (VA), personal control (PC), and life satisfaction (LS) were also assessed to investigate possible determinants (VA) and consequences (PC, LS) of age-related attributions of life changes. Results. Attributions to age were shown to depend on the valence of experienced life changes, with more negative changes being linked to more age-related attributions. This relation was moderated by the valence of personally held views on aging, with more negative views on aging amplifying the relation between negative life changes and age-related attributions. Age-related attributions predicted reduced personal control and lower life satisfaction and were found to exacerbate the effects of negative life changes on life satisfaction, especially for the older cohorts of our sample. Discussion. Our findings help to better understand what determines age-related attributions of life changes, and highlight the negative consequences of attributing them to aging. Age-related attributions of change are a major factor that worsens the subjective aging experience. Methodologically, our study emphasizes the necessity to separately assess changes and their attributions to age.
Yaeji Kim-Knauss
added a research item
Objectives: The present study examined the extent of late-life preparedness and its correlates. In accordance with behavior theories, we postulated that those who have prior experience with caregiving, and who perceive such activities as more useful, and less risky are more likely to engage in late-life preparatory activities. Since the perceived distance until aging-related life challenges become prevalent may play a role in late-life preparedness, we hypothesized that the effects of the correlates would vary depending on one's subjective remaining life expectation (SRLE). Method: Building upon cross-sectional data including 581 German adults from 18 to 93 years, we fitted a hurdle model that separately analyzes the presence and variety of self-reported action-engagement to better handle the zero-inflated count measure of preparatory activities. Results: The results revealed that the effects of perceived utility, caregiving experience, and SRLE were significant for both the presence and variety of activities. SRLE were found to moderate the observed effects in the models: the effect of perceived utility on the presence of at least one late-life preparatory activity was larger for those with lower SRLE. In contrast, among those with higher SRLE, having provided care increased the variety of preparatory activities. Discussion: Findings suggest that some of the examined psychosocial factors are similarly associated with both the presence of at least one as well as the variety of late-life preparatory activities, although the extent of their effects varies depending on one's subjective life stage.
Frieder R Lang
added a research item
In diesem Kapitel behandeln wir aus psychogerontologischer und alternspsychologischer Perspektive zwei Herausforderungen für die Alternsberatung. • Wie lassen sich normale von krankhaften Alternsprozesse unterscheiden und welche Implikationen ergeben sich daraus für den ethisch begründeten Umgang mit dem Alter? • Worin liegen die subjektiven Grenzen des Lebenswillens und des Wunsches nach einem langen Leben begründet? Inwiefern widerspiegeln sich darin Altersdiskriminierung und eine gesellschaftliche Ausgrenzung hochbetagter älterer Menschen? Zunächst stellen wir einige Implikationen dieser Fragen im Einzeln dar und diskutieren mögliche Lösungsansätze. Daran schließt sich ein Abschnitt mit Empfehlungen für die Alternsberatung an.
Frieder R Lang
added a research item
Time perspective is a constituent of development across the lifespan. It reflects an individual's sense of passing time, of change, and of stability within his or her course of life. Time perspective can be defined as a complex multidimensional construct which comprises an individual's cognitions related to the extension, valence, and pace of past, present and future time. It is cognitively represented in the mind as a subjective construal or as a mindset that can differ from objective aspects of time perspective, especially as it extends into an unknown and undefined future.
Frieder R Lang
added 2 research items
Preparation of late life involves future perceptions and timetables of when to engage in preparation activities. Individuals may perceive to be on-time or off-time with regard to their subjective timetables. We explore in what ways subjective deadlines of late-life preparation are related to subjective residual life expectancy depending on preparatory domains, age and culture. We conducted a longitudinal study with two occasions in three cultures (US, China, Germany) with >1000 participants aged 20 to 90 years. Participants completed a questionnaire on subjective residual life expectancy, and planning of preparatory activities in five domains. Findings point to accommodation processes in response to limited subjective residual life expectancy. While timetables for late-life preparation were stable over time, there were few differences between Eastern and Western cultures. Moreover, individuals, who believed to be subjectively off-time compressed their deadlines when having more time in life. In contrast, when perceiving to be on-time, individuals dilated their subjective timetables.
Frieder R Lang
added a research item
Engaging in aging preparatory activities that is perceived to be utile for oneself (e.g., to retain autonomy and independence) and for others (e.g., to retain a harmonious relationship with important others) may have a functional effect on one’s aging process. We examined how perceived self- and other-related utilities of aging preparatory activities were associated with positive future thinking across adulthood, and whether these associations differed by culture. Building upon cross-sectional data from a web-based study conducted in Hong Kong (n = 283, Mage = 55.12, aged 18–85 years), the USA (n = 264, Mage = 51.06, aged 20–85 years) and Germany (n = 402, Mage = 51.65, aged 19–90 years), we observed different patterns of associations across these three cultures. Perceiving self-related utilities was linked to positive future thinking in the USA and Germany, but not in Hong Kong. In contrast, perceiving other-related utilities of aging preparatory activities was positively associated with future thinking in Hong Kong, but not in the USA or Germany. Perceived risks, on the other hand, showed a negative association with positive future thinking across all cultures. Findings suggest that there might be a culture-specific tendency for individuals to appraise their future, based on their perceived self- or other-related utilities of aging preparatory activities.
Frieder R Lang
added a research item
Over the past decades, increases in life expectancy in most modern societies have raised questions about whether and to what extent individuals value possible extensions of their personal lifetime. In this vein, a new field of research emerged that investigates the determinants, concomitants, and consequences of longevity values and personal preferences for an extended lifetime across adulthood. Based on a review of available theoretical and empirical work, we identified 3 mindsets on the challenges and potentials of human longevity common in research as well as personal views: (a) an essentialist mindset that builds on ideal principles of an infinite life, aimed at conquering or significantly postponing a biologically determined aging process, (b) a medicalist mindset that appraises aging as being primarily based on quality of health, and (c) a stoicist mindset that associates longevity and lifetime extension with the experience of grace and meaning. In this regard, we submit that motivation for longevity and its behavioral consequences differ depending on what mindsets individuals adopt in a given developmental context. We suggest that mindsets of longevity motivation are embedded in personal belief systems (e.g., death acceptance) that may depend on health, and on context influences (e.g., culture). Mindsets of longevity motivation may be related to differences in health behavior and late-life preparation. We illustrate such ideas with an exploratory analysis from a cross-cultural data set. We discuss the possible implications of these mindsets of longevity motivation for the aging sciences, and with regard to individual ways of approaching old age. / / / --> download full text: https://academic.oup.com/innovateage/article/3/2/igz014/5521110 -
Frieder R Lang
added a research item
Objectives Previous literature has consistently shown a positive association between negative self-perception of aging and mortality in middle-aged and older adults. However, two questions remain unsolved: 1) whether such association holds among very old people (i.e., the fourth age); and 2) the potential mediators that could contribute to the positive association. The present study sought to fill in the research gap by examining the association between self-perception of aging and mortality in a group of very old Chinese participants (i.e. aged over 78). Methods Four waves of data across a span of 8 years (2000–2008) were obtained from the Chinese Longitudinal Health Longevity Survey (CLHLS), which measured a total of 9683 participants’ negative self-perception of aging, survival status, cognitive functioning, diet as well as other demographic information. Results Latent growth models with survival analysis were conducted and the results replicated previous findings indicating an association between negative self-perceptions of aging and reduced survival. Moreover and more importantly, a potential mediator - healthy lifestyle (e.g., eating fresh vegetables and fruits, exercising regularly and no smoking), was identified, such that older adults with more negative self-perception of aging tended to engage in less healthy lifestyle, which could lead to increased risk of mortality. Discussion The findings provided support for a longitudinal behavioral pathway of health linking negative perceptions of aging to mortality, and also yielded important practical implications for older adults to reach longevity.
Frieder R Lang
added 10 research items
Objectives: A growing amount of research has suggested that caregiving is not only associated with burden but entails also the potential for positive outcomes. By contrast, less is known about the roles of gain-loss-anticipations on future caregiving. Method: We conducted a web-based study in which we compared three groups with differing preferences on future caregiving: being willing to provide care (potential caregivers; n = 189), remaining indecisive about whether to provide care (undecided; n = 121), and rejecting the idea to provide care (unwilling; n = 62). In addition, actual caregivers (n = 113) served as a reality check for these expectations. We assessed gain-loss anticipations with a newly developed instrument (k = 12) and offer information on its reliability and validity. Results: Groups reveal different patterns of gain-loss-anticipations. Potential caregivers resembled actual caregivers and highlighted the potential benefits of caregiving, whereas those who were undecided or unwilling to provide care perceived fewer gains and more losses. Conclusion: Preferences about future caregiving are not described solely by socio-demographic aspects but are also colored by anticipations of both gains and losses. Findings point to the need to focus on motivational factors to enhance our understanding in the context of caregiving decisions.
The processes and outcomes of successful aging are viewed in a life-span developmental perspective that emphasizes adaptive person-environment transactions across adulthood and the maximization of gains while minimizing losses. The chapter is organized around three questions: (a) What is successful aging?, (b) How is successful aging different from normal or pathological aging?, and (c) What are processes that lead to successful aging? - The model of selection, optimization, and compensation (SOC) points to a standard of optimality in successful life management in old age.
Most people believe that time seems to pass more quickly as they age. Building on assumptions of socioemotional selectivity theory (SST), we investigated whether awareness that one’s future lifetime is limited is associated with one’s experience of time during everyday activities across adulthood in three studies. In the first two studies (Study 1: N = 608; Study 2: N = 398), participants completed a web-based version of the day reconstruction method (DRM). In Study 3 (N = 392) participants took part in a newly developed tomorrow construction method (TCM), a web-based experimental method for assessing everyday life plans. Results confirmed that older adults’ subjective interpretation of everyday episodes is that these episodes pass more quickly compared with younger adults. The subjective acceleration of time experience in old age was more pronounced during productive activities than during regenerative-consumptive activities. The age differences were partly related to limited time remaining in life. In addition, subjective acceleration of time experience was associated with positive evaluations of everyday activities. Findings suggest that subjective acceleration of time in older adults’ daily lives reflects an adaptation to limitations in time remaining in life.
Frieder R Lang
added 4 research items
Objectives: Although forecasting a positive future can be adaptive, it may not be when expectations are unmet. Our study examined whether such inaccurate expectations about future health status (overestimation) were maladaptive for older adults who commonly experience late life declines in physical functioning. Method: We analyzed data from the nationally representative German Aging Survey (DEAS; 1996-2011; n = 2,539; age range 60 to 85 years) using multilevel growth models that assessed the influence of inaccurate health expectations on older adults’ physical functioning over a nine-year period. Results: Overestimating future health status predicted reduced day-to-day physical functioning when age, gender, and self-rated health were controlled. A Time × Overestimation interaction indicated that the negative effects of overestimation on physical functioning became more pronounced over the nine-year period. Discussion: Results suggest that repeatedly unmet health expectations may undermine motivational resources and accelerate late life declines in physical functioning.
The chapter addresses change and adaptive functions associated with different dimensions of perceiving future time (PFT) across adulthood. Specifically, the chapter discusses (a) the extension, the valence, and the pace of perceived future time, (b) its age-related changes, and (c) its functional role in the process of adaptation across adulthood. Within the frameworks of the model of selection, optimization, and compensation and socio-emotional selectivity theory, it is considered whether and to what extent the subjective construal of future time involves context-related adaptation to changing gain-loss dynamics across adulthood. It is concluded that the dimensional patterns of how individuals age-differentially perceive future time reflects adaptive cognitive strategies that may protect against aging-related losses and threats associated with the finitude of life.
This study addresses prior mixed findings on the relationship between future time perspective (FTP) and well-being as well as examines the associations between three aspects of FTP and life satisfaction in the health and friendship domains. 159 Germans, 97 US Americans, and 240 Hong Kong Chinese, aged 19-86 years, completed a survey on future self-views (valence) and life satisfaction. They also reported the extent to which they perceived future time as expanded vs. limited (time extension) and meaningful (openness). Findings revealed that individuals with more positive future self-views had higher satisfaction. However, those who perceived their future as more meaningful or perceived more time in their future reported higher satisfaction even when future self-views were less positive.
Anna E. Kornadt
added a research item
Objectives: Preparation for age-related changes is a central task in midlife and older age and a determinant of functioning and well-being in later life. If and how people prepare is influenced by societal and institutional circumstances and also by beliefs about aging and the future. Method: We assessed domain-specific preparation for age-related changes in samples from three countries with high population aging but different premises regarding preparation, and analyzed data from N=1,830 individuals aged 35-85 years from urban regions in Germany, the USA, as well as China (Hong Kong). Results: Preparation was universally low in Hong Kong, but the amount of differences between countries varied depending on life domain. While we found pronounced differences between all three countries for domains related to public provision (such as health care, work, and finances), East-West differences in preparation emerged for domains regarding social relations and end-of-life concerns. The concreteness of time perspective and future self-views mediated country differences in preparation. Discussion: Our results speak for the culture-specificity of preparing for old age and we deliver evidence on psychological variables that might explain these differences.
Anna E. Kornadt
added a research item
Objectives: We developed brief versions of our questionnaires to assess domain-specific views on aging (age stereotypes and future self-views) and preparation for age-related changes. Methods: The brief scales were validated in an online study with N = 301 participants aged 23 - 88 years. Results: Mean values across domains show a differentiated picture for all three constructs, yielding evidence for the multi-dimensionality of views on aging and preparation for age-related changes. Rating profiles for the brief versions were similar to the long versions of the questionnaires, attesting to the equivalence of the brief and long scales. Within-domain correlations between the three constructs were also higher than between-domain correlations, further substantiating the claim of domain-specificity with regard to the predictive validity of the brief scales. Discussion: The new brief versions of the scales can thus be recommended for a differentiated assessment of views on aging and preparation for age-related changes when short forms of measurement are required.
David Ekerdt
added an update
David J. Ekerdt, Catheryn S. Koss, Angel Li, Anne Münch, Stephan Lessenich,
Helene H. Fung.  Journal of Aging Studies, 43 (2017), 46-52. 
Longevity is an aspiration at the population level, a goal of public health policy and research. In the later decades of life, longevity goals also deserve scrutiny at the personal level to understand whether people welcome longer lives. Contradictory preferences could be expected, both the embrace of longevity and hesitation.  The desire for extended life was examined using qualitative interviews in parallel designs among 90 persons aged 62 and older at sites in Germany, China, and the United States. Just over one third of the participants declined to express aspirations for longer life, some because they felt that their lives had reached a stage of completion and some as a form of fate acceptance. A larger number did indeed want extended lives but less than half estimated an amount of time that they desired. Moreover, there was strong opinion that longer lives were desirable only if current or acceptable levels of health were maintained. These replies indicate that
future time is welcome so long as it occurs in the “third age” of independent living and not in the “fourth age” of vulnerability and decline. Replies also reveal that many older adults in these three cultures conceptually map the future not as a smooth continuum of time but rather as segmented into states, one kind of which is wanted and one which is not.
 
Anna E. Kornadt
added a research item
Research on cross-national differences in views on aging has often focused on a comparison between Asian and Western countries. However, the results are mixed showing either more positive views in Asia, no difference at all or even more positive views in Western countries. A potential moderator of country differences that might explain some of the heterogeneity is the fact that views on aging differ in their content and valence depending on life domains such as health vs. family relations. Therefore, our aim was to systematically address domain-specific views on aging in a cross-national study, also considering that cross-national differences are age group-specific. We examined differences in views on aging between China, USA, and Germany in eight life domains using samples with a broad age range. For most of the domains, cross-national differences indicated more negative views on aging in China compared to the Western countries and more positive views among the American compared to the German participants. Intriguingly, the differences between China and the US or Germany were absent or even reversed in the domains friends, personality, and finances. Cross-national differences also varied by age group. Our results show that explanations of cross-national differences in views of aging probably do not apply uniformly across all life domains or age groups. They underline the importance of acknowledging the domain-specific nature of views on aging in cross-national research.
Anna E. Kornadt
added an update
We are very happy to announce that CUHK-NCKU Joint Centre for Positive Social Science and the Department of Psychology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong are co-organizing an international conference with GSA on May 18 – 22, 2018. The conference expects about 200 attendees. Submission for abstract is welcome for all.
Theme: this conference will provide a differentiated perspective on individual constructions of old age and ageing in different life domains (e.g., financial, housing, religion). In combination with the domain-specific approach, this conference will take an international format to investigate the phenomenon of ageing by comparing individuals of different age groups, socio-economic backgrounds, and countries with regard to their views on and attitudes towards ageing.
Please submit a 250-word abstract via the conference website BY 8th January, 2018. Selected abstracts will be announced by 28th February, 2018.
 
Anne Münch
added a research item
Throughout their lives people are confronted with different time resources and demands that change continuously up into old age. With the help of a qualitative interview study the narrative constructions of subjective time experiences as well as individual ways of dealing with time in retirement were investigated. In particular the influences of older persons’ experience of time within the dimensions of everyday time and life time were analyzed. In addition, the study focused on potential time conflicts between these two dimensions and the question of how older people deal with the ambivalence between everyday time wealth and biographical time poverty in older age. The results of the interviews with 50 retired men and women (aged 56–91 years) in Germany, which were analyzed with “grounded theory” techniques, indicated that time in retirement does not indeed always run smoothly. In particular, the individual perception of increasing biographical time poverty exerts pressure on the arrangement of activities and daily routine in retirement. The resulting time conflicts are reflected in differential patterns of time use through which older ersons try to cope with their ambivalent time experiences.
Anna E. Kornadt
added 15 research items
Vorstellungen von alten Menschen und vom Altsein bilden sich bereits in frühen und mittleren Phasen des Lebens heraus und beeinflussen dann den späteren Alterungsprozess. Altern vollzieht sich in verschiedenen Lebens- und Funktionsbereichen unterschiedlich, es kann daher nicht von einhellig negativen oder positiven Einstellungen zu Alter und Altsein ausgegangen werden. Im psychologischen Teil des Projekts „Zonen des Übergangs“ wurden spezifische Altersstereotype und altersbezogene Selbstbilder für verschiedene Lebensbereiche und in verschiedenen Altersgruppen erfasst und deren Zusammenhänge zu Wohlbefinden und dem Selbstkonzept untersucht. Ein weiterer Fokus lag auf der Analyse von Vorstellungen zur persönlichen Lebensgestaltung im Alter. Hierzu wurde ein Fragebogeninstrument entwickelt, das diese Einstellungen anhand der Dimensionen „aktives Engagement“ und „Genuss und Muße“ erfasst. Die Ergebnisse liefern Evidenz für eine differenzierte Betrachtung von Altersbildern und Vorstellungen zum Leben im Alter sowie für deren Einfluss auf die Entwicklung über die Lebensspanne.
We investigated a pathway through which age stereotypes (AS) become internalized into the self. Domain-specific AS, as well as future self-views (FS) and current self-views (CS), were assessed in a sample of middle-aged and older adults. AS were positively related to CS and this effect was mediated via FS. These relations were stronger for older persons, indicating that the internalization process depends on a self-categorization as being old. A comparison of life domains revealed that an age-dependent internalization of AS emerged mainly for those domains in which age-related changes are expected to occur during later phases of life.
Anna E. Kornadt
added a project goal
Old age has come to occupy a major part of an individual’s life and it also constitutes a reality to which society at large must adapt. The “Ageing as Future” project investigates how individuals perceive, construe, and prepare for their old age and ageing. We address this topic from an interdisciplinary perspective, combining different methodological approaches that mutually complement and inform each other (in-depth interviews, questionnaires, online assessments, experiments). The project has an international format, with data collection in five different countries (Germany, USA, Hong Kong, Czech Republic, Taiwan), which allows us to study and compare processes of ageing across different societal contexts. The design of our study enables us to interconnect individual and societal factors in understanding processes of ageing. The major topics of our project center around three interrelated themes: Views on ageing, preparation for old age, and time management in old age.