Positive and Negative Role Models in Uncertainty Management Processes About Aging

Kai Kuang, Patricia E. Gettings


Given the growing number of older adults, it is essential to understand how to best facilitate the management of aging-related uncertainties (e.g., the physical, psychological, and social aspects of aging). This study draws on the theory of motivated information management and the communicative ecology model of successful aging to examine uncertainty about aging. Analyses of data from 340 U.S. adults suggested that having negative role models for aging was positively associated with uncertainty discrepancy and the perceived probability of negative experiences related to aging, which independently contributed to feelings of anxiety. Having positive aging role models was associated with higher outcome expectancies and efficacy assessments of information seeking about aging. Efficacy was positively associated with information seeking about aging. The findings of this study underscore the multidimensional nature of uncertainty in aging and highlight the need to consider contextual factors in promoting efficacy beliefs and information-seeking behaviors.


environmental chatter, uncertainty, information seeking, successful aging

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