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01-08-2016 | Uitgave 8/2016

Quality of Life Research 8/2016

The relevance of memory sensitivity for psychological well-being in aging

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 8/2016
Enrico Toffalini, Erika Borella, Cesare Cornoldi, Rossana De Beni



In the present study, we investigated the relationship between memory sensitivity, which describes a positive attitude to autobiographical memory and the presence of behaviors devoted to saving memories of the personal past, and psychological well-being; in particular, we tested whether their relationship would change across age groups.


Three hundred eighteen participants, divided in four groups: young to middle-aged adults (20–55 years old), young–old adults (65–74 years old), old adults (75–84 years old), and old–old adults (85–97 years old), completed questionnaires on their memory sensitivity and psychological well-being.


Memory sensitivity slightly decreased with age and had a positive relationship with psychological well-being that was critically moderated by age. Specifically, the relationship between memory sensitivity and psychological well-being became increasingly stronger as age increased.


While memory sensitivity may have little or no particular relevance in the case of young to middle-aged adults, it has an increasingly important positive relationship with psychological well-being at later age. It is thus suggested that memory sensitivity represents a dimension that should be considered in the study and interventions on quality of life in the elderly population.

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