Does the relationship between affect complexity and self-esteem differ in young-old and old-old participants?

Ehud Bodner, Yuval Palgi, Dvir Kaveh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives.This study examines whether the relationship between positive affect (PA) and negative affect (NA) is more complex among old-old than among young-old participants and whether the independence and potential co-occurrence of both PA and NA (affect complexity) is related to higher self-esteem (SE) among older participants.Method.A convenience sample of 311 participants was divided into 2 groups: young-old, aged 65-79 years (n = 212), and old-old, aged 80-93 years (n = 99), participants. PA and NA were measured by the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule and SE was measured by the Self-Esteem Questionnaire.Results.The findings show that PA and NA are less strongly related and even positively related to each other among older people and that SE is higher among the young-old compared with the old-old participants. Finally, affect complexity is positively related to a higher degree of SE among the old-old participants.Discussion.These findings may imply that the affect complexity is associated with buffering the noxious effect of deteriorating SE in old age. Future studies should examine further the intrapersonal relationship between affect complexity and SE in late life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-673
Number of pages9
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Affect complexity
  • Negative affect
  • Old age
  • Positive affect
  • Self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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