Predicting late middle-aged people’s psychological wellbeing: The heaviness of the incompetent metastereotype


The present study aimed to examine the link between late middle-aged adults’ stereotypical and meta-stereotypical beliefs and their psychological wellbeing, considering the role of aging anxiety. Participants were 307 people aged between 50 and 64 years living in Italy, who completed a questionnaire assessing warmth and competence stereotypes and metastereotypes referred to their age group, aging anxiety, and psychological wellbeing. Path analysis revealed that competence metastereotypes were associated with psychological wellbeing via aging anxiety, while the link between either stereotypes or warmth metastereotypes, aging anxiety and wellbeing was not significant. These findings showed that metastereotypes significantly contribute to late middle-aged people’s psychological functioning, especially for what concerns meta-perceived competence. Social and community interventions aimed at improving positive metastereotypes concerning late middle-aged people’s abilities might reduce feelings of anxiety related to aging, with favourable outcomes on individuals’ wellbeing.


DOI Code: 10.1285/i24212113v10i1p133

Keywords: older adults, older people, stereotypes, metastereotypes, aging anxiety, wellbeing


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