New insights into the relationship between our feelings and our view of aging

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According to a new study, the disconnect between the age we feel and the age we want to be can provide insight into our view of aging and its relationship to health.

Subjective Age Mismatch (SAD) -the difference between the age you feel and the age you want to be-is a fairly new concept in the psychology of aging. However, previous work has used SAD to look at longitudinal data and how people’s views of aging evolve over months or years.

“We see if SAD helps us assess the daily changes in our views on aging, and that is ours. Physical health Shebaun Neupert, co-author of the study and professor of psychology at North Carolina State University, said.

SAD is determined by taking how old you feel, subtracting how old you want to be, and dividing it by your actual age. The higher the score, the older you feel than you want to be.

In this study, researchers enrolled 116 adults aged 60-90 and 107 adults aged 18-36.Research participants filled out Online survey 8 days every day. The study found out how older participants feel each day, their ideal age, positive and negative moods during the day, stress experienced, and physical complaints such as back pain and cold symptoms. Designed to evaluate.

“We found that both older and younger people are experiencing SAD,” says Neupert. “It was more prominent senior citizen, That makes sense. However, it was interesting because the young people fluctuated daily. “

“We think young adults are being pushed more and more,” says Jennifer Bellintia, the first author of the treatise and a researcher at the University of Jena Friedrichschiller. “Young adults are concerned about the negative stereotypes of aging, but they may be dealing with it. Negative stereotype It is associated with the younger generation and hopes they have some of the privileges and status associated with aging. “

Two additional findings stood out.

“People tend to feel more positive when the age you feel is close to your ideal age,” says Verintia. “And on average, people who have more health Complaints also had a high SAD score. “

Neither finding was surprising, but both show the value of the SAD concept as a tool for understanding people’s views on age and aging. It may also provide a new approach to how we think about aging and its health effects.

“Previous studies have focused on making people feel younger, as the age you feel can affect your physical and mental health,” says Neupart.

“That approach is problematic in that it effectively promotes age discrimination,” says Verintia. “Our findings in this study suggest that another approach to improving well-being is to find ways to reduce this subjective age discrepancy. In other words, we. Can help people by encouraging them to raise them instead of telling them to feel younger “ideal age”

The treatise “Subjective Age Mismatch and Daily Experiences of Happiness” was published in the journal Psychology and aging..

Feeling young protects older people from stress and prevents their health from deteriorating

For more information:
Jennifer A. Bellingtier et al, a daily experience of subjective age mismatch and well-being. Psychology and aging (2021). DOI: 10.1037 / pag0000621

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New insights into the relationship between our feelings and our view of aging

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