Temporal and social comparative self-assessments of physical health in young, middle-aged, and young-old adults in the MIDUS study
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Behavioral Medicine | Uitgave 3/2021Log in om toegang te krijgen
This study examined temporal and social comparisons of physical health status. Participants in two waves of the MIDUS cohort ranging in age from young adult to young-old (N = 2,408) rated current, past, and future physical health, as well as peer health. Past health was generally rated as better than current health (particularly among young adults). Young adults expected better future health; young-old adults expected declining health. All groups recalled their health as better than they reported a decade earlier. Middle-aged and young-old respondents expected more decline than they reported ten years later; young adults’ ratings were consistent. The two older groups believed they were healthier than same-age peers, whereas younger respondents believed they were less healthy (though as healthy as the other age groups). The nature and trajectories of temporal and social comparisons of physical health across the lifespan suggest the need to examine their consequences for health behaviors.