The experience of worry among young and older adults in the United States and Germany: A cross-national comparison

Renée L. Babcock, Eileen E. Malonebeach, Beini Hou, Melinda Smith

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5 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study compared adult age-related differences in the experience of worry within two cultures. Data were collected from 173 Germans and 263 Americans (within the United States) on a general worry scale and two hypothesized correlates of worry (life events and locus of control). Results indicated that there were age differences on all of the hypothesized correlates of worry as well as the measure of worry, with younger adults reporting more worries than did older adults. Differences were found between the two countries on the hypothesized correlates (with the exception of internal locus of control) and one subscale of the worry measure. More importantly, structural equation modeling indicated that the hypothesized correlates of worry differentially contributed to the prediction of worry across the two cultures and across the two age groups. That is, with one minor exception, the hypothesized correlates did not predict worry within the German sample, but did predict worry within the American sample. Among the younger adult American sample, endorsement of external locus of control and life events predicted worry, but among the older American sample, positive endorsement of internal locus of control predicted worry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-422
Number of pages10
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2012

Keywords

  • Germany
  • United States
  • age differences
  • cross-cultural
  • worry

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