MIDLIFE MEANING MODERATES THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ANTICIPATING AGING AND PERCEIVED STRESS
Mullins, Benjamin W.
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This exploratory study examined the moderating effect of meaning in midlife on the relationship between anticipating aging and perceived stress in a population of aging professionals. The two main questions were: (a) are any of the classifications ("religious and spiritual" [R+S], "spiritual but not religious" [SnR], "religious but not spiritual" [RnS], and "not religious and not spiritual" [nRnS]) different from one another on the rating of the amount of meaning received from religious sources, spiritual sources, leisure, volunteer activity, relationships, and the arts; and (b) in people who consider themselves R+S or SnR, is the relationship between anticipating aging and perceived stress moderated by their rating of the amount of meaning they receive from the different categories of meaning listed in the first question? The online survey used in this study was created for a larger study conducted for the American Society on Aging and the National Council on Aging. Four hundred fifty-two participants (91 men and 361 women) recruited through ASA/NCOA membership lists completed an online survey. A one way MANOVA showed that relationships were the most important source of meaning across all classifications and that the R+S classification had the highest ratings of meaning across all sources. Six 3-way HMMRs showed that relationships, leisure, and volunteer activity significantly moderate the relationship between anticipating aging and perceived stress; the HMMRs also showed a possible 3-way interaction between classification, art as a source of meaning, and anticipating aging on perceived stress. The discussion suggests that people who find meaning in relationships, value volunteer activity, and/or see leisure as meaningful, may transition into retirement more successfully. Also, those who are both religious and spiritual may find the greatest meaning in various pursuits of later life.
Aging physiological aspects
Middle aged persons