Younger and Older Adults' Mood and Expectations Regarding Aging During COVID-19

Gerontol Geriatr Med. 2020 Sep 16:6:2333721420960259. doi: 10.1177/2333721420960259. eCollection 2020 Jan-Dec.


The 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has broadly impacted our daily lives. Here, we used a longitudinal approach to investigate older adults' mood and expectations regarding aging before and during the global pandemic (Study 1). We also examined age differences in mood, expectations regarding aging, COVID-19 attitudes, and loneliness using a cross-sectional approach (Study 2). In Study 1, older adults completed a mood and expectations regarding aging survey up to 2 years prior to the pandemic and again in April, 2020 (during the pandemic). Participants also completed surveys regarding COVID-19 attitudes and loneliness. In Study 2, a United States sample of younger and older adults completed these surveys during the pandemic. Older adults' mood and expectations regarding aging remained fairly constant, and younger adults showed lower mood and expectations regarding aging than did older adults, despite older adults showing greater concern about COVID-19. Overall, we find that some older adults seem to be resilient with respect to their mood and expectations regarding aging. These findings reveal important preliminary implications for how older adults may be impacted as a result of lifestyle changes necessary for well-being and the well-being of society.

Keywords: COVID-19; expectations regarding aging; loneliness; mood.