Socio-Psychological Predictors of Perceived Age as a Prognostic Marker of Aging and Risk of Death

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Abstract

Objective. The study of socio-psychological predictors of the perceived age of adults aged 35 to 75 years.
Background. The relevance of the work is determined by the interdisciplinary status of the phenomenon of perceived age (the phenomenon of social cognition and the result of the influence of numerous factors associated with predicting the risk of death) in modern science and the need to determine the influence of socio-psychological factors on the perceived age of a person at the stage of "maturity" and "old age".
Study design. Photographs of perceptual objects previously tested using a block of techniques were shown to perceptual subjects ("evaluators") to assess their age, the arithmetic mean of the estimates corresponded to the perceived age of the study participants. Next, a list of possible predictors was compiled, to which multiple regression analysis (step-by-step method) was applied.
Participants. 523 people (207 men and 316 women) aged 35 to 75 years took part in the study as objects of perception; 140 people acted as subjects of perception ("evaluators") in various rounds of presenting photographs to assess the age of objects of perception. The sample was divided into subgroups of "mature" (age 35-59 years, 368 people, 142 men and 226 women, M = 49 years) and "elderly" (age 60-75 years, 155 people, 65 men and 90 women, M = 65 years).
Measurements. The procedure of "Photovideopresentation of appearance" by T.A. Vorontsova; the questionnaire "Self-assessment of age" by T.A. Vorontsova; a set of techniques developed by V.A. Labunskaya for the diagnosis of attitude to one's appearance.
Results. The paper identifies socio-psychological predictors of a person's perceived age at the age stages of "maturity" and "old age": subjective age, the importance of appearance, integral assessment of appearance, assessment of appearance by the mother, the need to look younger than their years, economic status. Regression models were compiled separately on male/female subsamples, as well as adults aged 35-59 and 60-75 years. It was found that the regression model built on the data of elderly study participants (from 60 to 75 years old), which included a combination of predictors "significance of appearance", "satisfaction with appearance" and "planned life expectancy", has the greatest predictive value. It is also shown that the behavioral component of the attitude to one's appearance (the severity of appearance-perfectionism) does not affect the indicator of the difference between chronological and perceived age ("saved years").
Conclusions. The combination of socio-psychological predictors of perceived age varies depending on gender and age stage of life. Universal and gender-specific predictors of perceived age have been identified. The universal predictor, regardless of gender and age stage of life, is the importance of appearance.

General Information

Keywords: appearance; age groups; perceived age; women; health; men; life expectancy; predictors; social cognition; subjective age

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/sps.2024150109

Funding. The reported study was funded by Russian Science Foundation, project number 22-28-01763, https://rscf.ru/en/project/22-28-01763/ at the Southern Federal University.

Received: 24.04.2023

Accepted:

For citation: Vorontsova T.A. Socio-Psychological Predictors of Perceived Age as a Prognostic Marker of Aging and Risk of Death. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2024. Vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 137–155. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2024150109. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

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Information About the Authors

Tatyana A. Vorontsova, PhD in Psychology, Head of the Psychology Department, Associate Professor of the Department of Social Psychology of the Academy of Psychology and Pedagogy, Southern Federal University, lecturer of the special faculty of Psychocorrection, Depth Psychology and Psychoanalysis, Faculty of Psychology, Pedagogy and Defectology of the Don State Technical University and the Rostov Branch of the European Confederation of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. Member of the federal UMO in the system of higher education in enlarged groups of specialties and areas of training 37.00.00 Psychological sciences., Rostov-na-Donu, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1717-7059, e-mail: shkurko@sfedu.ru

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