This application seeks 2 years of funding to develop a reliable and valid self-report questionnaire to assess middle-aged and older adults'Awareness of Age-Related Change (AARC). Diehl and Wahl (2010) defined AARC as """"""""all those experiences that make a person aware that his or her behavior, level of performance, or ways of experiencing life have changed as a consequence of having grown older (i.e., chronological age)"""""""" (p. 340). Developing and validating this measurement instrument is essential for establishing the AARC concept empirically and for showing in subsequent studies that this new concept has explanatory value beyond the traditional concepts of """"""""subjective aging"""""""" and """"""""age identity."""""""" Thus, this application is consistent with the Exploratory/ Developmental Grant (R21) mechanism which """"""""is intended to encourage exploratory and developmental research projects by providing support for the early and conceptual stages of these projects"""""""" (PA-10-069). The proposed project has three specific aims: 1.To develop the item pool for the questionnaire measuring adults'AARC:
This aim builds on the theoretical work that the Principal Investigator has done over the past 3 years. This work was recognized in 2008 by an award from the Gerontological Society of America for theoretical innovation in social gerontology. The Principal Investigator's empirical work related to AARC is now focused on the generation of an exhaustive item pool for a first version of a multi-dimensional questionnaire. To generate such an item pool, 10 focus groups with middle-aged and older adults will be conducted and questionnaire items will be derived from the transcribed focus group protocols, resulting in an initial version of the questionnaire. 2. To establish the psychometric properties of the new questionnaire: The psychometric properties of the AARC questionnaire will be established using two independent samples of adults. The initial version will be given to a representative sample of 400 middle-aged and older adults (age range 40 to 90 years) in Northern Colorado. Using the data obtained from this sample, reliability (e.g., internal consistency, test-retest reliability) ad validity (e.g., predictive and convergent validity) will be established and poorly performing items will be eliminated. The revised version of the questionnaire will then be given to a second representative sample of 600 middle-aged and older adults in the Denver metropolitan area. Additional psychometric work will be performed to refine the questionnaire using the data from this second sample. 3. To generate two short forms of the questionnaire for use in different settings: Using the data from both samples and applying Item Response Theory (IRT), a ten-item and a five-item version of the questionnaire will be created. These short forms will be designed for possible use in large-scale surveys, ecological momentary assessment studies, and laboratory-based studies. These short forms are also highly desirable for use in clinical practice.

Public Health Relevance

This application proposes the development of a multidimensional questionnaire to measure adults'Awareness of Age-Related Change (AARC). Having such a measure is relevant from a public health perspective because adults'self-perceptions of aging are powerful predictors of important real-life outcomes, such as preventive health behaviors and morbidity. Yet, to date there are no sophisticated measures available that assess middle-aged and older adults'AARC in a multidimensional way. The new measure is significant because it would enrich health-related research in several areas, including work in clinical practice settings.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Social Psychology, Personality and Interpersonal Processes Study Section (SPIP)
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Nielsen, Lisbeth
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Colorado State University-Fort Collins
Other Health Professions
Other Domestic Higher Education
Fort Collins
United States
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Brothers, Allyson; Gabrian, Martina; Wahl, Hans-Werner et al. (2016) Future time perspective and awareness of age-related change: Examining their role in predicting psychological well-being. Psychol Aging 31:605-17
Westerhof, Gerben J; Miche, Martina; Brothers, Allyson F et al. (2014) The influence of subjective aging on health and longevity: a meta-analysis of longitudinal data. Psychol Aging 29:793-802
Diehl, Manfred; Wahl, Hans-Werner; Barrett, Anne E et al. (2014) Awareness of Aging: Theoretical Considerations on an Emerging Concept. Dev Rev 34:93-113
Brothers, Allyson; Chui, Helena; Diehl, Manfred (2014) Measuring future time perspective across adulthood: development and evaluation of a brief multidimensional questionnaire. Gerontologist 54:1075-88