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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2017 Mar 1;72(2):259-267. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbw049.

Leisure Activity Engagement and Positive Affect Partially Mediate the Relationship Between Positive Views on Aging and Physical Health.

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Department of Psychology, Fordham University, Bronx, New York.



To examine leisure activity engagement and positive affect as potential mediators for the relationships between positive views on aging (PVA) and two health outcomes: subjective health and physical limitations.


Data from 5,194 participants from the German Ageing Survey (aged 40-91 years) were used to examine relationships between PVA to subjective health (assessed by self-rated health and perceived health change from past) and physical limitations (assessed via self-reported limitations on 10 activities). Leisure activity engagement and positive affect were examined as potential mediators in latent variable path analyses. Age moderation among these relationships was also examined.


Leisure activity engagement and positive affect separately and jointly served to partially mediate the relationships between PVA and the health outcomes. When entered as joint mediators, positive affect no longer significantly predicted physical limitations, indicating a shared variance with leisure activity engagement. Age moderated the relationship between PVA and physical limitations; the relationship was stronger among older adults than among middle-aged adults.


Leisure activity engagement and positive affect were shown to help explain the relationship between PVA and health, but differently for different health constructs and also among middle-aged and older adults. Findings provide further insight into ways in which PVA influence health.


Health; Leisure activities; Positive affect; Views on aging

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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