Login | Register

Age-Related Changes in Older Adults’ Anger and Sadness: The Role of Perceived Control

Title:

Age-Related Changes in Older Adults’ Anger and Sadness: The Role of Perceived Control

Wrosch, Carsten, Barlow, Meaghan A. and Kunzmann, Ute (2018) Age-Related Changes in Older Adults’ Anger and Sadness: The Role of Perceived Control. Psychology and Aging, 33 (2). pp. 350-360.

[img]
Text (accepted paper) (application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document)
P&A_2017_DEA_Accept.docx - Accepted Version
Available under License Spectrum Terms of Access.
154kB

Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pag0000229

Abstract

This longitudinal study examined the experience of sadness and anger in a sample of older adults. Based on the discrete emotion theory of affective aging, it was expected that sadness, but not anger, would increase in older adulthood over time. In addition, we hypothesized that inter- and intra-individual differences in low perceptions of control would be more strongly associated with sadness than anger. The 10-year study followed 187 community-dwelling older adults (Mage = 72.25, SDage = 5.81). At each of six waves, participants’ levels of sadness, anger, perceived control, and sociodemographic characteristics were assessed. Hierarchical linear modeling demonstrated that sadness, but not anger, linearly increased over time. These increases in sadness were evident only among older adults who reported low (but not high) levels of perceived control across the study period, and who experienced longitudinal declines (but not increases) in perceived control. In addition, non-linear within-person reductions in perceived control predicted participants’ sadness in the entire sample, but were associated with anger only in early, and not in advanced, old age. These findings support the discrete emotion theory of affective aging by documenting the distinctiveness of older adults’ anger and sadness. These two negative emotions differ in terms of both age-related changes and predictive person-related perceptions of control.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Authors:Wrosch, Carsten and Barlow, Meaghan A. and Kunzmann, Ute
Journal or Publication:Psychology and Aging
Date:2018
Funders:
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • German Research Foundation
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.1037/pag0000229
Keywords:aging; emotions; sadness; anger; perceived control
ID Code:983260
Deposited By: CARSTEN WROSCH
Deposited On:05 Dec 2017 17:13
Last Modified:25 Apr 2018 15:15

References:

Adler, N. E., Epel, E. S., Castellazzo, G., & Ickovics, J. R. (2000). Relationship of subjective and objective social status with psychological and physiological functioning: Preliminary data in healthy, White women. Health Psychology, 19, 586–592. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0278-6133.19.6.586

Andrews, P. W., & Thomson, J. A., Jr. (2009). The bright side of being blue: Depression as an adaptation for analyzing complex problems. Psychological Review, 116, 620–654. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0016242

Aubert, G., & Lansdorp, P. M. (2008). Telomeres and aging. Physiological Reviews, 88, 557–579. http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/physrev.00026.2007

Baltes, P. B. (1987). Theoretical propositions of life-span developmental psychology: On the dynamics between growth and decline. Developmental Psychology, 23, 611–626. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.23.5.611

Baltes, P. B., & Smith, J. (2003). New frontiers in the future of aging: From successful aging of the young old to the dilemmas of the fourth age. Gerontology, 49, 123–135. http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000067946

Blozis, S. A., & Cho, Y. I. (2008). Coding and centering of time in latent curve models in the presence of interindividual time heterogeneity. Structural Equation Modeling, 15, 413–433. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10705510802154299

Bradburn, N. M. (1969). The structure of psychological well-being. Chicago, IL: Aldine.

Brandtstädter, J., & Renner, G. (1990). Tenacious goal pursuit and flexible goal adjustment: Explication and age-related analysis of assimilative and accommodative strategies of coping. Psychology and Aging, 5, 58–67. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0882-7974.5.1.58

Carstensen, L. L. (2006). The influence of a sense of time on human development. Science, 312, 1913–1915. http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1127488

Carver, C. S., & Harmon-Jones, E. (2009). Anger is an approach-related affect: Evidence and implications. Psychological Bulletin, 135, 183–204. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0013965

Castonguay, A. L., Pila, E., Wrosch, C., & Sabiston, C. M. (2015). Body-related self-conscious emotions relate to physical activity motivation and behavior in men. American Journal of Men’s Health, 9, 209–221. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1557988314537517

Chipperfield, J. G., Campbell, D. W., & Perry, R. P. (2004). Stability in perceived control: Implications for health among very old community-dwelling adults. Journal of Aging and Health, 16, 116–147. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0898264303260447

Chipperfield, J. G., Perry, R. P., & Weiner, B. (2003). Discrete emotions in later life. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 58, 23–34. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geronb/58.1.P23

Drewelies, J., Wagner, J., Tesch-Römer, C., Heckhausen, J., & Gerstorf, D. (2017). Perceived control across the second half of life: The role of physical health and social integration. Psychology and Aging, 32, 76–92. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pag0000143

Ebner, N. C., Freund, A. M., & Baltes, P. B. (2006). Developmental changes in personal goal orientation from young to late adulthood: From striving for gains to maintenance and prevention of losses. Psychology and Aging, 21, 664–678. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0882-7974.21.4.664

Eizenman, D. R., Nesselroade, J. R., Featherman, D. L., & Rowe, J. W. (1997). Intraindividual variability in perceived control in an older sample: The MacArthur successful aging studies. Psychology and Aging, 12, 489–502. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0882-7974.12.3.489

Ekman, P. (1999). Basic emotions. In T. Dalgleish & M. Power (Eds.), Handbook of cognition and emotion (pp. 45–59). Chichester, England: Wiley.

Frijda, N. H., Kuipers, P., & ter Schure, E. (1989). Relations among emotion, appraisal, and emotional action readiness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 212–228. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.57.2.212

Gerstorf, D., Ram, N., Mayraz, G., Hidajat, M., Lindenberger, U., Wagner, G. G., & Schupp, J. (2010). Late-life decline in well-being across adulthood in Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States: Something is seriously wrong at the end of life. Psychology and Aging, 25, 477–485. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0017543

Heckhausen, J., Wrosch, C., & Schulz, R. (2010). A motivational theory of life-span development. Psychological Review, 117, 32–60. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0017668

Infurna, F. J., Ram, N., & Gerstorf, D. (2013). Level and change in perceived control predict 19-year mortality: Findings from the Americans’ changing lives study. Developmental Psychology, 49, 1833–1847. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0031041

Jobin, J., & Wrosch, C. (2016). Goal disengagement capacities and severity of disease across older adulthood: The sample case of the common cold. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 40, 137–144. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0165025415597549

Keltner, D., & Gross, J. J. (1999). Functional accounts of emotions. Cognition and Emotion, 13, 467–480. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/026999399379140

Klinger, E. (1975). Consequences of commitment to and disengagement from incentives. Psychological Review, 82, 1–25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/h0076171

Kunzmann, U., & Grühn, D. (2005). Age differences in emotional reactivity: The sample case of sadness. Psychology and Aging, 20, 47–59. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0882-7974.20.1.47

Kunzmann, U., Kappes, C., & Wrosch, C. (2014). Emotional aging: A discrete emotions perspective. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, Article 380. http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00380

Kunzmann, U., Richter, D., & Schmukle, S. C. (2013). Stability and change in affective experience across the adult life span: Analyses with a national sample from Germany. Emotion, 13, 1086–1095. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0033572

Kunzmann, U., & Thomas, S. (2014). Multidirectional age differences in anger and sadness. Psychology and Aging, 29, 16–27. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0035751

Kunzmann, U., & Wrosch, C. (2017). Emotional development in old age. In N. A. Pachana (Ed.), Encyclopedia of geropsychology (pp. 752–762). New York, NY: Springer. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-082-7_112

Kunzmann, U., & Wrosch, C. (in press). Commentary: The emotion–health link—Perspectives from a lifespan theory of discrete emotions. Emotion Review.

Labouvie-Vief, G. (2003). Dynamic integration: Affect, cognition, and the self in adulthood. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 12, 201–206. http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.0963-7214.2003.01262.x

Lachman, M. E., & Weaver, S. L. (1998). The sense of control as a moderator of social class differences in health and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 763–773. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.74.3.763

Lang, F. R., & Heckhausen, J. (2001). Perceived control over development and subjective well-being: Differential benefits across adulthood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 509–523. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.81.3.509

Lazarus, R. S. (1982). Thoughts on the relations between emotion and cognition. American Psychologist, 37, 1019–1024. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.37.9.1019

Lazarus, R. S. (1991). Emotion and adaptation. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York, NY: Springer.

Levenson, R. W. (1992). Autonomic nervous system differences among emotions. Psychological Science, 3, 23–27. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.1992.tb00251.x

Levenson, R. W. (2000). Expressive, physiological, and subjective changes in emotion across adulthood. In S. H. Qualls & N. Abeles (Eds.), Psychology and the aging revolution: How we adapt to longer life (pp. 123–140). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/10363-007

National Advisory Council on Aging. (2006). Seniors in Canada 2006: A report card. Ottawa, Canada: National Advisory Council on Aging.

Nesse, R. M. (1990). Evolutionary explanations of emotions. Human Nature, 1, 261–289. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF02733986

Nesse, R. M. (2000). Is depression an adaptation?Archives of General Psychiatry, 57, 14–20. http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.57.1.14

Pekrun, R., Frenzel, A. C., Goetz, T., & Perry, R. P. (2007). The control-value theory of achievement emotions: An integrative approach to emotions in education. In P. A. Schutz & R. Pekrun (Eds.), Emotion in education (pp. 13–36). Amsterdam, the Netherlands: Academic Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-012372545-5/50003-4

Roese, N. J., & Summerville, A. (2005). What we regret most . . . and why. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, 1273–1285. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0146167205274693

Rowe, J. W., & Kahn, R. L. (1997). Successful aging. The Gerontologist, 37, 433–440. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geront/37.4.433

Smith, J., & Baltes, P. B. (1997). Profiles of psychological functioning in the old and oldest old. Psychology and Aging, 12, 458–472. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0882-7974.12.3.458

Tsai, J. L., Levenson, R. W., & Carstensen, L. L. (2000). Autonomic, subjective, and expressive responses to emotional films in older and younger Chinese Americans and European Americans. Psychology and Aging, 15, 684–693. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0882-7974.15.4.684

Verkuil, B., Brosschot, J. F., Marques, A. H., Kampschroer, K., Sternberg, E. M., & Thayer, J. F. (2015). Gender differences in the impact of daily sadness on 24-h heart rate variability. Psychophysiology, 52, 1682–1688. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/psyp.12541

Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 1063–1070. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.54.6.1063

Weiner, B. (1985). An attributional theory of achievement motivation and emotion. Psychological Review, 92, 548–573. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.92.4.548

Wrosch, C., Bauer, I., & Scheier, M. F. (2005). Regret and quality of life across the adult life span: The influence of disengagement and available future goals. Psychology and Aging, 20, 657–670. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0882-7974.20.4.657

Wrosch, C., Heckhausen, J., & Lachman, M. E. (2000). Primary and secondary control strategies for managing health and financial stress across adulthood. Psychology and Aging, 15, 387–399. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0882-7974.15.3.387

Wrosch, C., Heckhausen, J., & Lachman, M. E. (2006). Goal management across adulthood and old age: The adaptive value of primary and secondary control. In D. Mroczek & T. D. Little (Eds.), Handbook of personality development (pp. 399–421). Hove, England: Psychology Press.

Wrosch, C., Jobin, J., & Scheier, M. F. (2017). Do the emotional benefits of optimism vary across older adulthood? A life span perspective. Journal of Personality, 85, 388–397. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12247

Wrosch, C., & Miller, G. E. (2009). Depressive symptoms can be useful: Self-regulatory and emotional benefits of dysphoric mood in adolescence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 1181–1190. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0015172

Wrosch, C., Schulz, R., Miller, G. E., Lupien, S., & Dunne, E. (2007). Physical health problems, depressive mood, and cortisol secretion in old age: Buffer effects of health engagement control strategies. Health Psychology, 26, 341–349. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0278-6133.26.3.341
All items in Spectrum are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. The use of items is governed by Spectrum's terms of access.

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads per month over past year

Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
- Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
Back to top Back to top