Coping, affect and aging: The roles of mastery and self-esteem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relationships between coping, affect and aging were examined using mastery and self-esteem as mediators of the aging coping affect associations. The sample included 168 young and old community residents who completed the dispositional coping strategies questionnaire [COPE scale; Carver, C.S., Scheier, M., & Weintraub, J.K. (1989). Assessing coping strategies: a theoretically based approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 267-283], as well as mastery, self-esteem and affect inventories. The results showed high levels of mastery, self-esteem and problem/accommodation meta-strategy of coping to contribute independently to positive affect, while low levels of mastery and self-esteem contributed to negative affect. Older people reported low levels of negative affect as well as lower levels of mastery than the younger ones, but no age-related differences were observed for positive affect, self-esteem, or coping strategies. Furthermore, mastery mediated the effects of aging on coping strategies. Unexpectedly, perceived health status, independently of age, was related to low levels of mastery and self-esteem while perceived economical situation or education level were not related to these variables. The study results imply that the use of efficient coping strategies in certain groups such as old people may be enhanced by elevating feelings of mastery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-372
Number of pages16
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 19 Jan 2002


  • Affect
  • Aging
  • Coping
  • Mastery
  • Self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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