Growing Older and Staying Positive: Associations Between Diverse Aging Women’s Perceptions of Age and Body Satisfaction

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© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York. As women grow older, physical changes accompanying the aging process may impact self-perceptions of body image and age. To assess these perceptions, survey data were collected from 115 European American and 100 African American aging 65+ to assess whether patterns of association between age, age discrepancy, and body satisfaction vary by ethnic group. African American women reported higher average satisfaction for all body perceptions except weight, for which there was no difference between the groups. Ethnic group moderated the association between age discrepancy and two aspects of body satisfaction: cosmetic features and overall appearance. For African American aging women, perceptions of the body were not as strongly linked to perceptions of aging. For European American women, feeling older than one’s age was associated with lower body satisfaction, and women in this group may be more vulnerable to the negative impacts of the aging process on the body.

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