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Psychology and Aging

Kendra L Seaman, Mikella A Green, Stephen Shu, Gregory R Samanez-Larkin
In a previous study, we found adult age differences in the tendency to accept more positively skewed gambles (with a small chance of a large win) than other equivalent risks, or an age-related positive-skew bias. In the present study, we examined whether loss aversion explained this bias. A total of 508 healthy participants (ages 21-82) completed measures of loss aversion and skew preference. Age was not related to loss aversion. Although loss aversion was a significant predictor of gamble acceptance, it did not influence the age-related positive-skew bias...
May 17, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Lameese Eldesouky, Tammy English
Several influential theories posit that improvements in emotion regulation contribute to enhanced emotional well-being in older adulthood. However, surprisingly little is known about whether there are age differences in emotion regulation strategy use. We addressed this question by testing whether older adults report using typically adaptive strategies more often and regulate more flexibly than relatively younger adults. In a two-part study, 136 married couples (N = 272) aged 23-85 years completed individual difference measures of cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression, and then nine daily reports of a broader range of emotion regulation strategies, now including situation selection, situation modification, and distraction...
May 10, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Ruth A Sibbett, Tom C Russ, Alison Pattie, John M Starr, Ian J Deary
The presence of an apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele, lower physical fitness, smoking, and lower serum vitamin B-12 have been reported as contributing to poorer cognitive function in LBC1921 at age 79, after adjusting for childhood intelligence. Because incident dementia was not previously ascertained within LBC1921, it is possible that preclinical or unrecognized cases at age 79 influenced findings. Dementia cases arising over approximately 16 years of follow-up were determined by a consensus using evidence from electronic medical records, death certificates, and clinical reviews...
May 10, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Wiebke Bleidorn, Ted Schwaba
We examined the course of self-esteem during the transition to retirement in a sample of 690 retirees (ages 51-81) and a propensity-score matched-comparison group of 515 nonretirees drawn from a nationally representative longitudinal study in the Netherlands. The average retiree decreased in self-esteem in the 5 years before retirement and remained stable in self-esteem in the 5 years following retirement. We also found significant individual differences in retirees' self-esteem trajectories but failed to identify moderators that may account for these individual differences...
May 7, 2018: Psychology and Aging
David L Roth, Stephanie L Brown, J David Rhodes, William E Haley
Multiple studies have confirmed a seemingly paradoxical finding that family caregivers have lower mortality rates than comparable samples of noncaregivers. Caregivers are often also found to report more symptoms of depression and higher stress levels, but psychological distress and mortality are rarely examined in the same study. This study tests a possible mechanism for the mortality effect by applying a theoretical model that posits psychological and physiological stress-buffering benefits from prosocial helping behaviors...
May 3, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Anne J Dutt, Hans-Werner Wahl, Fiona S Rupprecht
Recent evidence suggests that the longitudinal association between subjective aging experiences, that is, the way people perceive and evaluate their aging process, and well-being-related developmental outcomes depends on individual differences. We investigated the moderating role of two processing strategies, that is, mindfulness and negative repetitive thought (RT), for the association between subjective aging experiences and depressive symptoms in middle and old adulthood. Analyses were based on two measurements covering a 4...
April 30, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Ruixue Zhaoyang, Martin J Sliwinski, Lynn M Martire, Joshua M Smyth
Prevailing research has suggested that social relationships get better with age, but this evidence has been largely based on studies with lengthy reporting intervals. Using an ecological momentary assessment approach, the present study examined age differences in several characteristics of social interactions as reported in near-real time: the frequency, quality, and partner type. Participants (N = 173) ages 20-79 years reported their social interactions at 5 random times throughout the day for 1 week. Results revealed that age was associated with higher frequency of interacting with family and lower frequency of interacting with peripheral partners...
April 30, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Kimberly M Livingstone, Derek M Isaacowitz
Life span emotional development theories propose age differences in emotion regulation tendencies and abilities. Research on age-related positivity has identified age differences in attention to emotional content, which may support emotion regulation in older age. The current research examines the roles of age and attention under various emotion regulation instructions. We measured younger (N = 92) and older (N = 88) adults' fixation to negative emotional content and continuously rated affect during normal viewing and instructions to regulate...
April 5, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Peggy Voss, Anna E Kornadt, Thomas M Hess, Helene H Fung, Klaus Rothermund
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 versus 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...
March 22, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Jessica L Parker, Christopher W Robinson
The study examined individual contributions of visual and auditory information on multisensory integration across the life span. In the experiment, children, young adults, and older adults participated in a variant of the Sound-Induced Flash Illusion where participants had to either ignore beeps and report how many flashes they saw or ignore flashes and report how many beeps they heard. Collapsed across age, auditory input had a stronger effect on visual processing than vice versa. However, relative contributions of auditory and visual information interacted with age, with young adults showing evidence of auditory dominance (only auditory input affected visual processing), whereas, multisensory integration effects were more symmetrical in children and older adults...
May 2018: Psychology and Aging
B Hunter Ball, Julie M Bugg
Monitoring the environment for the occurrence of prospective memory (PM) targets is a resource-demanding process that produces cost to ongoing activities. The current study investigated younger and older adults' ability to monitor strategically, which involves the heightening and relaxation of monitoring when it is contextually appropriate thereby affording conservation of limited-capacity attentional resources. Participants performed a lexical-decision task in which words or nonwords were presented in upper or lower locations of the screen...
May 2018: Psychology and Aging
Alexander Kirmsse, Hubert D Zimmer, Ullrich K H Ecker
In contrast to long-term memory, age-related association deficits in working memory are found only inconsistently. The authors hypothesized that type of binding is critical for the occurrence of such deficits. Relational binding abilities (associating separate visual units) should degrade with age, whereas more automatic conjunctive binding abilities (associating features within an object) should not. They contrasted associative memory and item memory using a change-detection task with colors and shapes in younger (18-33 years) and older (64-82 years) healthy adults...
May 2018: Psychology and Aging
Siri-Maria Kamp, Regine Bader, Axel Mecklinger
We investigated whether healthy older adults are able to use an episodic encoding strategy known as unitization, which allows for subsequent associative retrieval based on familiarity, to overcome their associative memory deficit. Young and healthy older participants were presented with word pairs either together with a definition that allowed to combine the word pairs to a new concept (high unitization condition), or together with a sentence frame (low unitization condition). In Experiment 1, an age-related reduction in performance on a standard associative recognition test was observed in both conditions...
May 2018: Psychology and Aging
Jelena S Siebert, Hans-Werner Wahl, Christina Degen, Johannes Schröder
Previous research has demonstrated the harmful impact of subjective aging processes (e.g., negative age self-stereotyping) on normal cognitive aging in different domains of cognitive functioning, such as memory, executive function, and fluid abilities. Recently, subjective aging has also been linked to important biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and dementia-related outcomes, indicating associations with pathological cognitive aging. With data from the Interdisciplinary Longitudinal Study of Adult Development and Aging (ILSE), the present study extends this research by examining the long-term effect of attitude toward own aging (ATOA) on expert-based clinical diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD in old age...
May 2018: Psychology and Aging
Gizem Hülür, Sherry L Willis, Christopher Hertzog, K Warner Schaie, Denis Gerstorf
A growing body of research has examined whether people's judgments of their own memory functioning accurately reflect their memory performance at cross-section and over time. Relatively less is known about whether these judgments are specifically based on memory performance, or reflect general cognitive change. The aim of the present study was to examine longitudinal associations of subjective memory with performance in tests of episodic memory and a wide range of other cognitive tests, including the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R) Block Design, Comprehension, Digit Span, Digit Symbol, and Vocabulary subtests...
May 2018: Psychology and Aging
Gretchen R B Saunders, Irene J Elkins, Kaare Christensen, Matt McGue
Prior research has shown robust associations between greater subjective well-being (SWB) and reduced mortality. Whether this observed association is causal in nature or due instead to confounding genetic or environmental factors affecting both SWB and mortality is not well understood. We used a combined sample of 6,802 twins drawn from two cohorts: the Longitudinal Study of Middle-Aged Danish Twins (MADT; N = 2,815, baseline age between 45 and 69 years, M = 56.8, SD = 6.4) and the Longitudinal Study of Aging Danish Twins (LSADT; N = 3,987, baseline age between 70 and 97 years, M = 76...
May 2018: Psychology and Aging
Damaris Aschwanden, Matthias Kliegel, Mathias Allemand
Previous research supports a positive relationship between cognition and emotional stability, although findings regarding healthy older adults are inconsistent. Additionally, little is known about the mechanisms that underlie this association. Thus, the present study investigated the mediating effect of cognitive complaints on the bidirectional longitudinal association between cognition and emotional stability in old age. The study sample consisted of 500 older individuals (M age = 62.97 years, SD = 0.91, range = 60-64 years; 52% male) from the Interdisciplinary Longitudinal Study on Adult Development...
May 2018: Psychology and Aging
Jaclyn H Ford, Haley D DiBiase, Ehri Ryu, Elizabeth A Kensinger
Age is associated with shifts toward more positive memory retrieval. The current study examined these shifts following a negative public event. Participants completed two surveys examining emotional responses to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, one immediately following the attack and another 6 months later. Age was associated with different effects of time on how individuals reflected on this event. Time was associated with an increased focus on negative components in young adults but a decreased focus in older adults...
May 2018: Psychology and Aging
Raquael J Joiner, Cindy S Bergeman, Lijuan Wang
Recent research investigating the course of affective development across the adult life span has incorporated both cross-sectional and longitudinal data in analyses to understand the aging-affect relationship. Most of these studies, however, have not provided an empirical test to determine whether the cross-sectional and longitudinal data can be combined to infer developmental processes. Utilizing an age heterogeneous sample followed over a 10-year span (N = 1,019, Mage = 54.14 ± 13.06), the present study used an accelerated longitudinal design to investigate whether cross-sectional age differences could be found in longitudinal aging trajectories of positive affect (PA), negative affect (NA), and their confluence (i...
May 2018: Psychology and Aging
Maria Wirth, Ute Kunzmann
Although past theoretical work has proposed age-related gains in emotion regulation, the empirical evidence is not entirely consistent. In two laboratory studies, we investigated age differences in regulating negative emotions through attentional deployment by instructing participants to direct their attention either toward negative (up-regulation) or neutral (down-regulation) pictorial content. The regulation process (visual attention) was measured via eye-tracking and the regulation outcome (emotional experience) was assessed via self-report...
May 2018: Psychology and Aging
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