Longevity Increased by Positive Self-Perceptions of Aging

Author: Levy BR 1//Slade MD 1//Kunkel SR 2//Kasl SV 1
Yale University [1]//Miami University [2]
Conference/Journal: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Date published: 2002
Other: Volume ID: 83 , Issue ID: 2 , Pages: 261-270 , Word Count: 115

This research found that older individuals with more positive self-perceptions of aging, measured up to 23 years earlier, lived 7.5 years longer than those with less positive self-perceptions of aging. This advantage remained after age, gender, socioeconomic status, loneliness, and functional health were included as covariates. It was also found that this effect is partially mediated by will to live. The sample consisted of 660 individuals aged 50 and older who participated in a community-based survey, the Ohio Longitudinal Study of Aging and Retirement (OLSAR). By matching the OLSAR to mortality data recently obtained from the National Death Index, the authors were able to conduct survival analyses. The findings suggest that the self-perceptions of stigmatized groups can influence longevity.