Journal Article

Subjective Residual Life Expectancy in Health Self-Regulation

Jochen P. Ziegelmann, Sonia Lippke and Ralf Schwarzer

in The Journals of Gerontology: Series B

Published on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America

Volume 61, issue 4, pages P195-P201
Published in print July 2006 | ISSN: 1079-5014
Published online July 2006 | e-ISSN: 1758-5368 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geronb/61.4.P195
Subjective Residual Life Expectancy in Health Self-Regulation

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Applying socioemotional selectivity theory to the domain of health, we examined the interplay of social-cognitive predictors of physical exercise in two groups of people who perceived their remaining lifetime as either expansive or limited (based on subjective longevity ratings). Individuals (N = 370) who were prescribed physical exercise were assessed at discharge from orthopedic rehabilitation as well as 6 and 12 months later. Multigroup structural equation modeling showed differences in latent means, interrelations of predictors, and amount of explained variance. Individuals who perceived their time as limited reported a less favorable profile on social-cognitive variables and less exercise goal attainment. We give first insights on how health self-regulation differs in these groups, and we discuss avenues for intervention based on socioemotional selectivity theory. In contrast to chronological age, subjective life expectancy can be targeted by intervention.

Journal Article.  6282 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Geriatric Medicine ; Psychology ; Gerontology and Ageing

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