The malleability of possible selves and expectations regarding aging

Shoshana H. Bardach, Christopher C. Gayer, Tiffanie Clinkinbeard, Faika Zanjani, John F. Watkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Many people are apprehensive about old age and their future years. This pilot study sought to improve participants' sense of possibility in, and expectations for, old age. Students and middle-aged volunteers completed a survey including the Expectations Regarding Aging 38-item questionnaire (ERA-38) and a possible-selves questionnaire before and after a positive-aging-intervention presentation. While there were no significant possible-selves changes, respondents demonstrated an improvement in expectations about aging. This study demonstrates the potential for a brief positive aging intervention to impact expectations for the future. Implications for decision making and health choices are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-424
Number of pages18
JournalEducational Gerontology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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