TitleAge Differences In Emotional Reactivity To Daily Stressors: A Coordinated Analysis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsStawski, RS, Almeida, D
JournalInnovation in Aging
Pagination710 - 710
Date Published06/2017

Theories of stress, emotion and aging posit age-related decreases in emotional reactivity to stressors. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) and end-of-day diary (EOD) approaches have been employed to study age differences in stressor-related increases in negative affect, yielding mixed results. Some studies show age benefits, some show age decrements, and others show no difference. Data from 7 independent studies, 5 EMA and 6 EOD, were analyzed to address these inconsistencies. Preliminary analyses of 2 EMA (Study 1: N=240, 14 days, 5 beeps/day, Ages=25–65; Study 2: N=175, 7 days, 5 beeps/day, Ages=20–80) and EOD (Study 1: N=2,022, 8 days, Ages=35–84; Study 2: N=311, 8 days, Ages=21–63) studies revealed significant stressor-related increases in negative affect across all studies. Age-related decreases in reactivity were observed across all studies, but only statistically significant for EOD studies. Discussion will focus on design and measurement considerations for EMA and EOD studies for understanding stress processes and aging.