ERIC Number: ED123547
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Socioeconomic Predictors of Subjective Age.
Cutler, Neal E.
While a number of studies have documented a variety of attitudinal correlates of the subjective dimension of age, some writers have suggested that, especially at the older end of the life cycle, subjective age is but a surrogate for measures of disadvantaged social status. Specifically, this alternative view is that only the poor or retired or widowed or lower social class individuals are likely to identify themselves (and, hence, their problems) in terms of age. This paper, directly tests the proposition that variation in subjective identification is mainly a statistical function of measures of socioeconomic factors. The study is based on the 725 respondents over the age of 50 sampled in a national survey of the American adult population taken in 1972; the study included measures of subjective age identification, as well as a number of social and economic indicators. The results indicated that subjective age is substantially related to chronological age, but that within groupings of chronological age (50-64, 64-75, 75+), the following factors do not measurably influence variations in subjective age: income, education, occupational status, subjective social class, sex, widowhood, retirement. A multiple regression analysis including all of these variables plus chronological age combined to explain only 8.6% of the variance in subjective age identification among the over-50 respondents. It is therefore concluded that subjective age is not simply a reflection of socioeconomic variables. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Administration on Aging (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Gerontological Society, (28th, Louisville, Kentucky, October 26-30, 1975)