Despite continuing debate between anti-aging researchers seeking major life span extension and concerned gerontologists and bioethicists, elders’ views have received little research attention. Study aimed to relate elders’ attitudes toward strong life span extension to psychosocial and background factors. Participants were 109 American elders (65% women) aged 60-99 (M = 77.08, SD = 9.05). Measures included attitudes toward living long and living forever, Desired Age, Death Acceptance, Goal Seeking, Internality, and background variables (age, gender, marital status, education, religion, health). Attitudes were more positive toward an extended life span than living forever (p < .01). In regression analyses, more positive attitudes were related to greater Desired Age, less Death Acceptance, greater Goal Seeking, and greater Internality, and to lower age and non-Christian religious affiliation. Qualitative analyses explored goals for various periods of additional life. Elders’ positive attitudes toward extended life need consideration by experts debating this issue.
life extension, death acceptance, internality, goal seeking, older adults
Date of this Version
Cicirelli, Victor G., "Elders’ Attitudes toward Extending the Healthy Life Span" (2011). Department of Psychological Sciences Faculty Publications. Paper 20.