How Old We Are & How Old We Feel

Trevor Fry, Eastern Washington University
Collin Keating, Eastern Washington University
Diana McSwain, Eastern Washington University
Patrice Frazier, Eastern Washington University
Christin Quinn, Eastern Washington University
Andrea Zimmerman, Eastern Washington University


Many researchers assess differences in age as a distinct independent variable for a wide range of empirical analyses. However, subjective age (how old people feel) is a construct that has been relatively neglected in the literature. The purpose of the current study was to assess the relationship between chronological age and subjective age, as well as subjective age differences between genders. As part of a larger study, 95 participants completed the Subjective Age Questionnaire (Montepare, Rierdan, Koff, & Stubbs, 1989) including 5 items on a 7-point Likert scale. Reported subjective age was subtracted by chronological age (age discrepancy) for comparison between genders. A significant negative correlation emerged, such that as chronological age increased, subjective age scores subsequently decreased. A comparison of mean age discrepancy scores between genders revealed a difference that was marginally significant, with males reporting a subjective age slightly younger than their actual age, and females reporting subjective age slightly older than their actual age.