ONE SIZE FITS ALL?: PROFILES OF DIFFERENTIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAJECTORIES IN OLD AGE

Open Access
Author:
Morack , Jennifer
Graduate Program:
Human Development and Family Studies
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
None
Committee Members:
  • Denis Gerstorf, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • latent profile analysis
  • differential aging
  • old age
Abstract:
Lifespan research has long been interested in intra-individual changes within and structural relations between domains of functioning. Using a more variable-oriented approach, research in this area has revealed seminal insights into the intricacies of human development. The present study opted for a more subgroup-oriented approach using multiple-indicator information at the person level. To do so, latent profile analysis was applied to eight-year longitudinal data pooled across four Swedish studies (N = 1,008; 70-95 year olds; 61% women). Results revealed four psychological profiles with distinct psychological trajectories across indicators of well-being, social, and cognitive functions. These groups were also differentiated by cross-disciplinary characteristics that may have served as antecedents, correlates, or consequences of the profile trajectories (e.g., sociodemographics, functional limitations, survival time). Discussion addresses the promises and challenges of a systemic-wholistic perspective for studying differential aging.