Aging and coping with mortality: Understanding attitudes about aging and age-related differences in coping with death

Molly Maxfield, Andrea Lee Bevan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The aging process is associated with numerous and inevitable changes in physical, cognitive, and social functioning, and these changes are further complicated by humans’ awareness that the passage of time into middle and late adulthood represents nearing death, and that even if they engage in health-promoting behaviors and are fortunate enough to avoid severe health problems, they will eventually die. Thus aging is intimately associated with awareness of death, and age influences one’s attitudes and expectations about death as well as one’s responses to mortality salience. Using terror management theory, we consider existential concerns related to age and ageism. In doing so, we review research concerning the effects of mortality salience on people’s attitudes about older adults and how mortality salience effects differ in later life. We also discuss applications which may help people adaptively address existential concerns related to mortality as they grow older and closer to death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Terror Management Theory
PublisherElsevier
Pages391-415
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9780128118443
ISBN (Print)9780128118450
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ageism
  • Healthy aging
  • Mortality salience
  • Older adults
  • Stereotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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