Variability in affective change among aging men: Longitudinal findings from the VA Normative Aging Study

Paul W. Griffin*, Daniel K. Mroczek, Avron Spiro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined change in both positive and negative affect over ages 45 to 97 among 1534 men (mean age = 69 years). Positive affect demonstrated a linear decline with age, while negative affect declined until approximately 70 years, and thereafter showed a gradual increase. Results indicated significant individual differences in rates of change for both positive and negative affect. We then examined whether personality, health, and work status might account for individual differences in levels and rates of change in affect. Higher extraversion was associated with higher levels of positive affect, but not with rate of change. Higher neuroticism predicted higher levels of negative affect, as well as an attenuated decline in middle-adulthood, and a steeper increase in later adulthood. Better health was associated with higher levels of positive affect and lower levels of negative, but was also found to predict less decline in negative affect. Work predicted lower levels of positive affect and higher levels of negative affect, as well as greater declines in positive affect. These findings indicate that individuals differ in the manner in which they change in affect over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)942-965
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Volume40
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

Keywords

  • Emotional well-being
  • Growth curve models
  • Personality development
  • Positive and negative affect
  • Subjective well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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