Ageing International

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 73–89

Psychosocial factors, gender and late-life mortality


  • Kaarin J. Anstey
    • Centre for Mental Health ResearchAustralian National University
  • Mary A. Luszcz
  • Gary Andrews
Research Articles

DOI: 10.1007/s12126-002-1003-3

Cite this article as:
Anstey, K.J., Luszcz, M.A. & Andrews, G. Ageing Int. (2002) 27: 73. doi:10.1007/s12126-002-1003-3


Psychosocial factors have rarely been examined to determine their influence on longevity in very old adults. The present study evaluated the effect of psychosocial factors, self-rated health and self-rated life expectancy on mortality risk over a nine-year period. A stratified random sample of 2087 males and females aged 65 and older recruited for the Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing were assessed on measures of perceived control, morale, self-rated health (SRH), social participation, life satisfaction, self-rated life expectancy and self reported physical function. Cox hierarchical regression analyses revealed that for men, perceived control was associated with longevity after controlling for age, SRH and physical function. For women, social participation, morale and perceived control were associated with longevity after controlling for age, SRH and physical function. The effects were of moderate size. Results suggest that social participation and well-being, may account for gender differences in longevity. The impact of positive aspects of psychological functioning, particularly feeling in control, have been under-recognised in gerontological research, which is unfortunate, given their amenability to change or intervention that could result in not only a longer life, but also a more satisfying one.

Copyright information

© Springer 2002