Stability and change of personality in old age and its relation to survival
Although personality change over time has been explored, its relevance to survival and well being has been largely ignored. Most of the literature on personality in old age has concentrated on such negative traits as egocentricity, dependence and dogmatism, with the assumption that these traits intensify with age. However, it is possible that the greater prevalence of these traits among the elderly represent generational differences in personality structure and attitudes. Only studies designed to measure attitudes over time (longitudinally) can determine the origin of these changes. Changes may be related to personality type or to external events, but the significant issue is the role of stability in survival. One hundred thirteen men and 79 women were surveyed from the age of 67, every other year until they reached age 83. Medical, psychological and social components of the aging process were analyzed to identify predictors of survival, well-being and life satisfaction. Field independence-dependence, a trait related to introversion, extraversion, locus of control and self concept, was analyzed for this study. It was found that personality was largely stable for 80 percent of the participants in the study. In addition, greater stability between the ages of 67 and 73 predicted a greater likelihood of survival up to the age of 83, the boundary of the study. For women, the combination of the mother's death, low coping capacity, low intelligence and rural living augured early death; for men, urban living and disease were predictive factors. These factors may contribute to destabilization of personality structure. (Consumer Summary produced by Reliance Medical Information, Inc.)
Publication Name: Journals of Gerontology
Adult personality and psychomotor performance: cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis
Generational differences in personality development have not been well researched. Often what was taken to be age-related change in cross-sectional studies (in which data are collected at one time) was in fact a change in opinion across generations. To study personality over time, data from the Seattle Longitudinal Study, begun in 1956, were analyzed. The data were collected in five waves between 1956 and 1984, with each wave containing 500 or more subjects, for a total of 3,442 participants. This study considered the effect of being part of a particular birth group (cohort) on personality, as well as changes over time. The test of Behavioral Rigidity was used to measure quickness, intelligence, motor and behavioral flexibility and social responsibility. A trend toward more flexibility was found among young adults, with moderately increasing rigidity after age 60. Social responsibility rose slightly until subjects reached their late thirties, when it stabilized. The results of the measures are described in detail. Cohort effects were found for some measures, but not others, and, overall, the study indicates that there has been a trend toward more flexible personality styles, behaviors and attitudes in successive generations over the past three generations. This refutes the view that inflexibility increases with age; any increase in rigidity is quite modest, implying better individual adaptation. At the same time, there is a societal trend of decreasing concern for the needs of others. (Consumer Summary produced by Reliance Medical Information, Inc.)
Publication Name: Journals of Gerontology
Longitudinal invariance of adult psychometric ability factor structures across 7 years
A measurement model was used for determining measurement invariance for groups differing in age in adulthood, for measures of the six primary abilities of Inductive Reasoning, Spatial Orientation, Perceptual Speed, Numeric Facility, Verbal Ability and Verbal Recall. It is argued that factor space of cognitive abilities may change over the life span due to a cognitive differentiation process in younger adulthood and middle age and subsequent differentiation in older adulthood. Results showed weak factorial invariance over time, but configural invariance was noted for all six cohort groups.
Publication Name: Psychology and Aging
- Abstracts: Stability and accuracy of metamemory in adulthood and aging: a longitudinal analysis. How do health and biological age influence chronological age and sex differences in cognitive aging: Moderating, mediating, or both?
- Abstracts: Antecedents and contexts of generativity motivation at midlife. Midlife women's generativity and authoritarianism: marriage, motherhood, and 10 years of aging
- Abstracts: Cancer mortality, aging, and patterns of comorbidity in the United States: 1968 to 1986. Demographics (1950-1987) of breast cancer in birth cohorts of older women
- Abstracts: Blood pressure, pulse, and neurohormonal responses to nitroprusside-induced hypotension in normotensive aging men. part 2
- Abstracts: Personality in advanced old age: continuity or change? The influence of health on family contacts and family feelings in advanced old age: a longitudinal study