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Psychol Aging. 1993 Jun;8(2):165-75.

Affect and age: cross-sectional comparisons of Structure and prevalence.

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Polisher Research Institute, Philadelphia Geriatric Center, Pennsylvania 19141.


The self-reports of 207 young-adult (ages 18-30), 231 middle-aged (ages 31-59), and 828 older-adult (age 60 and over) Ss were used to study the structure of affect. Affects were represented by terms included in various circumplex arrays of emotions as presented by previous investigators. A set of 46 affects was subjected to exploratory analysis, and a final set of 38 affects was subjected to confirmatory factor analysis. The goodness of fit of each group's factor loadings to the hypothesized factors of positive affect, depression, anxiety-guilt, contentment, hostility, and shyness was not up to the desired .90 level, and some significant differences in factor structure were observed for each age-group comparison. There were few age differences in levels of positive affect. Depression was most frequent among younger Ss and least frequent among older Ss. Younger Ss were most often anxious and shy. Older Ss were most often content and least often hostile.

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