We hypothesize that older adults who anxiously expect, readily perceive, and intensely react to social rejection because of their old age (i.e., have high age-based rejection sensitivity) are vulnerable to depression and poor social functioning. We further hypothesize that the association between age-based rejection sensitivity and poor psychological health would be attenuated among older adults who possess adequate cognitive coping ability--they can discern and respond discriminatively to subtle variations in situational demands (i.e., have high discriminative facility). Based on the results of a focus group study, we constructed an age-based rejection sensitivity measure, which predicts greater depression, poorer social functioning, greater loneliness, and lower life satisfaction among individuals in late adulthood. As hypothesized, the relationship between age-based rejection sensitivity and poor psychological health was weaker among older adults with high (vs. low) discriminative facility.
Older Adults, Rejection Sensitivity, Discriminative Facility
Family, Life Course, and Society | Social Psychology
Journal of Research in Personality
CHOW, Debbie Sau-King, AU, Evelyn Wing-Mun, & CHIU, Chi-Yue.(2008). Predicting the Psychological Health of Older Adults: Interaction of Age-Based Rejection Sensitivity and Discriminative Facility. Journal of Research in Personality, 42(1), 169-182.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/604
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