Journal article:
Positive Self-perceptions of Aging Promote Healthy Eating Behavior Across the Life Span via Social-Cognitive Processes

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July 2019
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Abstract
Objectives: Negative self-perceptions of aging (SPA) have been shown to result in lower levels of preventive behavior, health, and longevity. This study focuses on the understudied SPA effects on healthy eating across the life span. Moreover, it aims to provide longitudinal evidence of the psychological mechanisms behind this relationship.
Method: We investigated whether SPA (T1) can predict changes in eating behavior (T3) over 1 year in 1,321 participants (T1), aged 18–92 years. The explanatory role of social-cognitive processes (T1, T2) was tested via a two-step mediation analysis with multigroup modeling for different age and education levels.
Results: Baseline positive SPA predicted more healthy eating at T3 (b = 0.68, SE = 0.24, p = .01), controlling for baseline eating (T1), age, education, gender, BMI, and illnesses. Self-efficacy (T1) and intention to eat healthily (T2) serially mediated this effect, indirect effect: b = 0.04, p = .02, 95% CI (0.02, 0.08). SPA had stronger effects in older and less educated participants.
Discussion: This study provides important insights into the mechanisms behind positive SPA fueling successful health behavior change dynamics. Fostering more positive SPA through interventions might be especially important for vulnerable groups. Addressing SPA already in younger ages might help establish health-promoting life-span dynamics.
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150 Psychology
Keywords
Healthy dietary behavior, Images of aging, Intention, Life span, Self-efficacy
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Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences ; 74 (2019), 5. - pp. 735-744. - ISSN 1079-5014. - eISSN 1758-5368
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Cite This
ISO 690KLUSMANN-WEISSKOPF, Verena, Gudrun SPROESSER, Julia K WOLFF, Britta RENNER, Shevaun NEUPERT, 2019. Positive Self-perceptions of Aging Promote Healthy Eating Behavior Across the Life Span via Social-Cognitive Processes. In: Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. 74(5), pp. 735-744. ISSN 1079-5014. eISSN 1758-5368. Available under: doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbx139
BibTex
@article{KlusmannWeikopf2019-07Posit-41094,
  year={2019},
  doi={10.1093/geronb/gbx139},
  title={Positive Self-perceptions of Aging Promote Healthy Eating Behavior Across the Life Span via Social-Cognitive Processes},
  number={5},
  volume={74},
  issn={1079-5014},
  journal={Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences},
  pages={735--744},
  author={Klusmann-Weißkopf, Verena and Sproesser, Gudrun and Wolff, Julia K and Renner, Britta and Neupert, Shevaun}
}
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    <dcterms:abstract xml:lang="eng">Objectives: Negative self-perceptions of aging (SPA) have been shown to result in lower levels of preventive behavior, health, and longevity. This study focuses on the understudied SPA effects on healthy eating across the life span. Moreover, it aims to provide longitudinal evidence of the psychological mechanisms behind this relationship.&lt;br /&gt;Method: We investigated whether SPA (T1) can predict changes in eating behavior (T3) over 1 year in 1,321 participants (T1), aged 18–92 years. The explanatory role of social-cognitive processes (T1, T2) was tested via a two-step mediation analysis with multigroup modeling for different age and education levels.&lt;br /&gt;Results: Baseline positive SPA predicted more healthy eating at T3 (b = 0.68, SE = 0.24, p = .01), controlling for baseline eating (T1), age, education, gender, BMI, and illnesses. Self-efficacy (T1) and intention to eat healthily (T2) serially mediated this effect, indirect effect: b = 0.04, p = .02, 95% CI (0.02, 0.08). SPA had stronger effects in older and less educated participants.&lt;br /&gt;Discussion: This study provides important insights into the mechanisms behind positive SPA fueling successful health behavior change dynamics. Fostering more positive SPA through interventions might be especially important for vulnerable groups. Addressing SPA already in younger ages might help establish health-promoting life-span dynamics.</dcterms:abstract>
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