The interplay of personality and attitudes toward own aging across two decades of later life

Autoři: Anna E. Kornadt aff001;  Jelena S. Siebert aff002;  Hans-Werner Wahl aff002
Působiště autorů: Department of Psychology, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany aff001;  Department of Psychology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article


Big Five personality traits are assumed to be linked with attitudes toward own aging. Since both constructs have central importance for the aging process, it is surprising that to our knowledge no study so far comprehensively addressed their mutual connection over time. We used data from the ILSE study, a longitudinal study capturing personality and attitudes toward own aging at four measurement occasions, spanning 20 years and including two participant cohorts in midlife (n = 501; born 1950–52) and later life (n = 500; born 1930–32). Dual latent change score models showed that personality was longitudinally related to change in attitudes toward own aging: Lower Neuroticism, higher Conscientiousness, and higher Openness predicted more positive attitudes, whereas the direction of the effect for Extraversion varied by time. Furthermore, the role of personality seems to be confined to certain sensitive periods in midlife and early old age. Contrary to our expectations, attitudes toward own aging had only marginal longitudinal impact on the Big Five. Our results shed light on the developmental co-dynamics of personality and subjective perceptions of aging across the second half of the lifespan.

Klíčová slova:

Aging – Behavior – Cognition – Geriatrics – Longitudinal studies – Personality – Personality traits – Personality differences


1. Diehl M, Wahl HW, Barrett AE, Brothers AF, Miche M, Montepare JM, et al. Awareness of aging: Theoretical considerations on an emerging concept. Dev Rev. 2014; 34: 93–113. doi: 10.1016/j.dr.2014.01.001 24958998

2. Levy B. Stereotype embodiment: A psychosocial approach to aging. Curr Dir Psychol Sci. 2009; 18: 332–336. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8721.2009.01662.x 20802838

3. Wurm S, Diehl M, Kornadt AE, Westerhof GJ, Wahl HW. How do views on aging affect health outcomes in adulthood and late life? Explanations for an established connection. Dev Rev. 2017; 46: 27–43. doi: 10.1016/j.dr.2017.08.002

4. Miche M, Elsässer VC, Schilling OK, Wahl HW. Attitude toward own aging in midlife and early old age over a 12-year period: Examination of measurement equivalence and developmental trajectories. Psychol Aging. 2014; 29: 588–600. doi: 10.1037/a0037259 25244478

5. Levy BR, Myers LM. Relationship between respiratory mortality and self-perceptions of aging. Psychol Health. 2005; 20: 553–564. doi: 10.1080/14768320500066381

6. Levy BR, Slade MD, Kasl SV. Longitudinal benefit of positive self-perceptions of aging on functional health. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2002; 57: 409–417. doi: 10.1093/geronb/57.5.P409 12198099

7. Bellingtier JA, Neupert SD. Negative aging attitudes predict greater reactivity to daily stressors in older adults. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2018; 73: 1155–1159. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbw086 27489092

8. Sargent-Cox KA, Anstey KJ, Luszcz MA. Longitudinal change of self-perceptions of aging and mortality. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2014; 69: 168–173. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbt005 23419867

9. Siebert JS, Wahl HW, Degen C, Schröder J. Attitude toward own aging as a risk factor for cognitive disorder in old age: 12-year evidence from the ILSE study. Psychol Aging. 2018; 33: 461–472. doi: 10.1037/pag0000252 29756803

10. Siebert JS, Wahl HW, Schröder J. The role of attitude toward own aging for fluid and crystallized functioning: 12-year evidence from the ILSE study. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2018; 73: 836–845. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbw050 27125833

11. Westerhof GJ, Miche M, Brothers AF, Barrett AE, Diehl M, Montepare JM, et al. The influence of subjective aging on health and longevity: A meta-analysis of longitudinal data. Psychol Aging. 2014; 29: 793–802. doi: 10.1037/a0038016 25365689

12. Sargent-Cox KA, Anstey KJ, Luszcz MA. Change in health and self-perceptions of aging over 16 years: The role of psychological resources. Health Psychol. 2012; 31: 423–432. doi: 10.1037/a0027464 22429127

13. Schelling HR, Martin M. [Attitudes toward one's own aging: A question of age or a question of resources?] Einstellungen zum eigenen Altern: Eine Alters- oder eine Ressourcenfrage? Z Gerontol Geriatr. 2008; 41: 38–50. doi: 10.1007/s00391-007-0451-5 German. 18286326

14. Levy BR. Rigidity as a predictor of older persons’ aging stereotypes and aging self-perceptions. Soc Behav Pers. 2008; 36: 559–570. doi: 10.2224/sbp.2008.36.4.559

15. McCrae RR, John OP. An introduction to the five-factor model and its applications. J Personality. 1992; 60: 175–215. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.1992.tb00970.x 1635039

16. Bryant C, Bei B, Gilson KM, Komiti A, Jackson H, Judd F. Antecedents of attitudes to aging: A study of the roles of personality and well-being. Gerontologist. 2016; 56: 256–265. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnu041 24793646

17. Kandler C, Zimmermann J, McAdams DP. Core and surface characteristics for the description and theory of personality differences and development. Eur J Pers. 2014; 28: 231–243. doi: 10.1002/per.1952

18. Laidlaw K, Power MJ, Schmidt S. The Attitudes to Ageing Questionnaire (AAQ): development and psychometric properties. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2007; 22: 367–379. doi: 10.1002/gps.1683 17051535

19. Allen PM, Mejía ST, Hooker K. Personality, self-perceptions, and daily variability in perceived usefulness among older adults. Psychol Aging. 2015; 30: 534–543. doi: 10.1037/pag0000039 26121284

20. Kandler C, Bleidorn W, Riemann R, Angleitner A, Spinath FM. Life events as environmental states and genetic traits and the role of personality: A longitudinal twin study. Behav Genet. 2012; 42: 57–72. doi: 10.1007/s10519-011-9491-0 21822914

21. Kandler C, Ostendorf F. Additive and synergetic contributions of neuroticism and life events to depression and anxiety in women. Eur J Pers. 2016; 30: 390–405. doi: 10.1002/per.2065

22. Moor C, Zimprich D, Schmitt M, Kliegel M. Personality, aging self-perceptions, and subjective health: A mediation model. Int J Aging Hum Dev. 2006; 63: 241–257. doi: 10.2190/AKRY-UM4K-PB1V-PBHF 17152411

23. Shenkin SD, Laidlaw K, Allerhand M, Mead GE, Starr JM, Deary IJ. Life course influences of physical and cognitive function and personality on attitudes to aging in the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936. Int Psychogeriatr. 2014: 1–14. doi: 10.1017/S1041610214000301 24622392

24. Rupprecht FS, Dutt AJ, Wahl H-W, Diehl MK. The role of personality in becoming aware of age-related changes. GeroPsych. 2019; 32: 57–67. doi: 10.1024/1662-9647/a000204

25. Costa PT, Herbst JH, McCrae RR, Siegler IC. Personality at midlife: Stability, intrinsic maturation, and response to life events. Assessment. 2000; 7: 365–378. doi: 10.1177/107319110000700405 11151962

26. Caspi A, Roberts BW, Shiner RL. Personality development: Stability and change. Annu Rev Psychol. 2005; 56: 453–484. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.55.090902.141913 15709943

27. Kandler C, Kornadt AE, Hagemeyer B, Neyer FJ. Patterns and sources of personality development in old age. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2015; 109: 1751–91. doi: 10.1037/pspp0000028 25545842

28. Specht J. Personality development in adulthood and old age. In: Specht J, editor. Personality development across the lifespan. San Diego: Elsevier; 2017. p. 53–67. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-804674-6.00005–3

29. Brandtstädter J. Action perspectives on human development. In: Damon W, Lerner RM, editors. Handbook of child psychology. Volume 1: Theoretical models of human development (5th ed.). Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons; 1998. p. 49.

30. Denissen JJA, van Aken MAG, Penke L, Wood D. Self-regulation underlies temperament and personality: An integrative developmental framework. Child Dev Perspect. 2013; 7: 255–260. doi: 10.1111/cdep.12050

31. Hudson NW, Fraley RC. Volitional personality trait change: Can people choose to change their personality traits? J Pers Soc Psychol. 2015; 109: 490–507. doi: 10.1037/pspp0000021 25822032

32. Hudson NW, Roberts BW. Goals to change personality traits: Concurrent links between personality traits, daily behavior, and goals to change oneself. J Res Pers. 2014; 53: 68–83. doi: 10.1016/j.jrp.2014.08.008

33. Kornadt AE, Voss P, Rothermund K. Age stereotypes and self-views revisited: Patterns of internalization and projection processes across the life span. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2017; 72: 582–592. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbv099 26511111

34. Roberts BW, Walton KE, Viechtbauer W. Patterns of mean-level change in personality traits across the life course: A meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Psychol Bull. 2006; 132: 1–25. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.132.1.1 16435954

35. Rothermund K, Brandtstädter J. Age stereotypes and self-views in later life: Evaluating rival assumptions. Int J Behav Dev. 2003; 27: 549–554. doi: 10.1080/01650250344000208

36. Kornadt AE. Do age stereotypes as social role expectations for older adults influence personality development? J Res Pers. 2016; 60: 51–55. doi: 10.1016/j.jrp.2015.11.005

37. Kornadt AE, Voss P, Rothermund K. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst? Future self-views and preparation for age-related changes. Psychol Aging. 2015; 30: 967–976. doi: 10.1037/pag0000048 26302028

38. Kornadt AE, Rothermund K. Internalization of age stereotypes into the self-concept via future self-views: A general model and domain-specific differences. Psychol Aging. 2012; 27: 164–172. doi: 10.1037/a0025110 21875214

39. Wrzus C, Roberts BW. Processes of personality development in adulthood: The TESSERA framework. Pers Soc Psychol Rev. 2017; 21: 253–277. doi: 10.1177/1088868316652279 27260302

40. Greve W, Wentura D. True lies: Self-stabilization without self-deception. Conscious Cogn. 2010; 19: 721–730. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2010.05.016 20646937

41. Sattler C, Wahl HW, Schröder J, Kruse A, Schönknecht P, Kunzmann U, et al. Interdisciplinary Longitudinal Study on Adult Development and Aging (ILSE). In: Pachana NA, editor. Encyclopedia of Geropsychology. New York: Springer; 2017. p. 1213–1222. doi: 10.1007/978-981-287-080-3_238–1

42. Schmitt M, Wahl HW, Kruse A. [The interdisciplinary longitudinal study of adult development: Final report after the completion of the third measurement occasion] Interdisziplinäre Längsschnittstudie des Erwachsenenalters (ILSE): Abschlussbericht anlässlich der Fertigstellung des dritten Messzeitpunkts. Berlin: Bundesamt für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend; 2008. German.

43. Caspi A, Bem DJ, Elder GH. Continuities and consequences of interactional styles across the life course. J Pers. 1989; 57: 375–406. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.1989.tb00487.x 2769561

44. Wahl HW, Konieczny C, Diehl M. [Experiencing age-related change in adulthood: An exploratory study based on the concept of “Awareness of Age-Related Change” (AARC)] Zum Erleben von altersbezogenen Veränderungen im Erwachsenenalter. Z Entwicklungspsychol und Padagog Psychol. 2013; 45: 66–76. doi: 10.1026/0049-8637/a000081 German.

45. Wettstein M, Tauber B, Kuźma E, Wahl HW. The interplay between personality and cognitive ability across 12 years in middle and late adulthood: Evidence for reciprocal associations. Psychol Aging. 2017; 32: 259–277. doi: 10.1037/pag0000166 28230383

46. Lawton MP. The Philadelphia Geriatric Center Morale Scale: A revision. J Gerontol. 1975; 30: 85–89. doi: 10.1093/geronj/30.1.85 1109399

47. Jung S, Siedlecki KL. Attitude toward own aging: Age invariance and construct validity across middle-aged, young-old, and old-old adults. J Adult Dev. 2018; 25: 141–149. doi: 10.1007/s10804-018-9283-3

48. Kleinspehn-Ammerlahn A, Kotter-Grühn D, Smith J. Self-perceptions of aging: Do subjective age and satisfaction with aging change during old age? J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2008; 63B: P377–P385. doi: 10.1093/geronb/63.6.P377 19092041

49. Smith J, Fleeson W, Geiselmann B, Settersten RA, Kunzmann U. Wohlbefinden im hohen Alter: Vorhersagen aufgrund objektiver Lebensbedingungen und subjektiver Bewertung. [Well-being in old age: Predictions from objective life circumstances and subjective evaluation]. In: Mayer KU, Baltes PB, editors. Die Berliner Altersstudie. Berlin: Akademie Verlag; 1996. pp. 498–523.

50. Borkenau P, Ostendorf F. [NEO Five-Factor Inventory] NEO-Fünf-Faktoren-Inventar (NEO-FFI). Göttingen: Hogrefe; 1993. German.

51. Mueller S, Wagner J, Drewelies J, Duezel S, Eibich P, Specht J, et al. Personality development in old age relates to physical health and cognitive performance: Evidence from the Berlin Aging Study II. J Res Pers. 2016; 65: 94–108. doi: 10.1016/j.jrp.2016.08.007

52. Kornadt AE, Hagemeyer B, Neyer FJ, Kandler C. Sound body, sound mind? The interrelation between health change and personality change in old age. Eur J Pers. 2018; 32: 30–45. doi: 10.1002/per.2135

53. Tewes U. [Hamburg-Wechsler-Intelligence test for adults: Handbook and instructions; HAWIE-R] Hamburg-Wechsler-Intelligenztest für Erwachsene: Handbuch und Testanweisung; HAWIE-R. Bern: Huber; 1991. German.

54. Geiser C. Data analysis with MPLUS. New York: Guilford Press; 2012.

55. Steyer R, Eid M, Schwenkmezger P. Modeling true intraindividual change: true change as a latent variable. Methods of Psychological Research Online [Internet]. 1997: 2; 21–33. Available from:

56. Muthén LK, Muthén BO. Mplus User’s Guide. Seventh Edition. Los Angeles: Muthén & Muthén; 1998–2012.

57. McDonald RP, Ho MHR. Principles and practice in reporting structural equation analyses. Psychol Methods. 2002; 7: 64–82. doi: 10.1037//1082-989X.7.1.64 11928891

58. Schermelleh-Engel K, Moosbrugger H, Müller H. Evaluating the fit of structural equation models: Tests of significance and descriptive goodness-of-fit measures. Measures of Psychological Research Online. 2003: 8; 23–74.

59. Yu CY. Evaluating cutoff criteria of model fit indices for latent variables models with binary and continuous outcomes (dissertation). Los Angeles: University of Los Angeles. 2002.

60. Mueller S, Wagner J, Gerstorf D. On the role of personality in late life. In: Specht J, editor. Personality Development Across the Lifespan. San Diego: Elsevier Academic Press; 2017. p. 69–84. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-804674-6.00006–5

61. Hill PL, Turiano NA, Hurd MD, Mroczek DK, Roberts BW. Conscientiousness and longevity: An examination of possible mediators. Health Psychol. 2011; 30: 536–541. doi: 10.1037/a0023859 21604882

62. Roberts BW, Walton KE, Bogg T. Conscientiousness and health across the life course. Rev Gen Psychol. 2005; 9: 156–168. doi: 10.1037/1089-2680.9.2.156

63. Schwaba T, Luhmann M, Denissen JJA, Chung JM, Bleidorn W. Openness to experience and culture-openness transactions across the lifespan. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2018; 115: 118–136. doi: 10.1037/pspp0000150 28557472

64. Stephan Y, Sutin AR, Terracciano A. Subjective age and personality development: A 10-year study. J Pers. 2015; 83: 142–154. doi: 10.1111/jopy.12090 24471687

65. Kornadt AE, Kandler C. Genetic and environmental sources of individual differences in views on aging. Psychol Aging. 2017; 32: 388–399. doi: 10.1037/pag0000174 28471214

66. Wrosch C, Heckhausen J. Being on-time or off-time: Developmental deadlines for regulating ones’s own development. In: Perret-Clermont AN, Barrelet JM, Flammer A, Miéville D, Perret JF, Perrig W, editors. Thinking time: A multidisciplinary perspective. Göttingen: Hogrefe & Huber Publishers; 2005. p. 110–23.

67. Wettstein M, Tauber B, Wahl HW, Frankenberg C. 12-year associations of health with personality in the second half of life. GeroPsych. 2017; 30: 5–17. doi: 10.1024/1662-9647/a000162

68. Hooker K, McAdams DP. Personality reconsidered: A new agenda for aging research. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2003; 58: 296–304. doi: 10.1093/geronb/58.6.P296 14614110

69. Roberts BW, Wood D. Personality development in the context of the Neo-Socioanalytic Model of Personality. In: Mroczek DK, Little TD, editors. Handbook of personality development. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers; 2006. p. 11–39.

70. Wood D, Roberts BW. The effect of age and role information on expectations for Big Five personality traits. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2006; 32: 1482–1496. doi: 10.1177/0146167206291008 17030890

71. Chatfield MD, Brayne CE, Matthews FE. A systematic literature review of attrition between waves in longitudinal studies in the elderly shows a consistent pattern of dropout between differing studies. J Clin Epidem. 2005. 58: 13–19. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2004.05.006 15649666

72. Iacobucci D. Structural equations modeling: Fit indices, sample size, and advanced topics. J Consum Psychol. 2010; 20: 90–98. doi: 10.1016/j.jcps.2009.09.003

73. Kim KH. The relation among fit indexes, power, and sample size in Structural Equation Modeling. Struc Equ Modeling. 2005; 12: 368–390. doi: 10.1207/s15328007sem1203_2

74. Kandler C, Riemann R, Angleitner A. Patterns and sources of continuity and change of energetic and temporal aspects of temperament in adulthood: A longitudinal twin study of self- and peer reports. Dev Psychol. 2013; 49: 1739–1753. doi: 10.1037/a0030744 23148934

Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 10
Nejčtenější tento týden