Do we fear ageing? A multidimensional approach to ageing anxiety

Robyn Brunton, Gregory Quartly-Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Ageing anxiety is the expression of peoples' fear of ageing (Lynch, 2000). Despite greater longevity in the population, there is a lack of research into this aspect of life (Lasher & Faulkender, 1993). This research explored fears of ageing across four dimensions: Fear of Old People, Physical Appearance, Psychological Concerns, and Fear of Losses. Three hundred and forty eight participants aged 18'88 participated in an online survey. Findings were: (a) men and women have different fears of ageing; (b) greater quality contact is related to less ageing anxiety; (c) poor health is related to greater ageing anxiety, (d) ageism, defined by Nelson (2005) as prejudice toward ageing is positively correlated with ageing anxiety. The implications of these findings are that better quality contact and more positive attitudes toward ageing are associated with less ageing anxiety. As such, possible key target areas in developing appropriate interventions are provided, with hope to prepare adults of all ages for the inevitable'life is a terminal illness, so enjoy while you can.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)786-799
Number of pages14
JournalEducational Gerontology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


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