Contemporary Psychology, Vol. 14, No. 2, 2011, 135-151

Original scientific paper

Subjective Age over the Adult Lifespan

Maja Zupančič - Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Blanka Colnerič - Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Martina Horvat - Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Fulltext (english, pages 135-151).pdf

Subjective age – defined as age felt – was measured in a sample of 782 respondents, aged between 18 and 89 years. Adults younger than 20 years had on average somewhat older subjective ages and those older than 20 reported younger subjective ages relative to their chronological age. The discrepancy between subjective age and actual age in years increased over adulthood. Differences for chronological age but not for gender and education were found in respondents reporting positive, negative and no subjective-actual age discrepancy. When the age discrepancy between subjective and actual age was considered as a proportion of chronological age, no increase was noted after the fourth decade of life; the respondents over 37 years felt about 15% younger than their actual age. Gender and education did not account for differences in the proportional age discrepancy with the full sample, whereas with the elderly subsample (N = 106) neither demographic variables (marital status, living arrangement and place of residence) nor five robust personality dimensions were linked to the discrepancy significantly. At the facet level, dominance and kindness were related to the proportional age discrepancy but a negligible portion of variance was explained.

subjective age, felt age-actual age discrepancy, adulthood, elderly, personality

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