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Int J Aging Hum Dev. 1993;37(4):247-59.

Measurement of aging anxiety: development of the Anxiety about Aging Scale.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of South Mississippi, Hattiesburg 39406-5025.


This research is based on the premise that aging anxiety is an important mediating factor in attitudes and behavior toward elderly individuals as well as a mediating factor in adjustment to one's own aging processes. The combined concern and anticipation of losses centered around the aging process constitute aging anxiety. This article proposes a multidimensional aging anxiety model, develops a measurement of this model, and assesses the factorial validity of the model. The original eighty-four item Anxiety about Aging Scale (AAS) was developed to assess four dimensions of aging and three types of fears. A principal components analysis of data collected from 312 adult volunteers revealed the presence of four interpretable factors: 1) Fear of Old People, 2) Psychological Concerns, 3) Physical Appearance, and 4) Fear of Loss. Items were eliminated to strengthen this factor structure and resulted in the retention of twenty items. Men were significantly more anxious about aging than were women on the AAS. Correlates of the four factors and implications for further research are discussed.

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