An Examination of the Predictive Validity of Subjective Age and Core Self-evaluations on Performance-Related Outcomes

Rick A. Laguerre, Janet L. Barnes-Farrell, James M. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The widely used single-item operationalization of subjective age "how old do you feel?"is unstable; yet, it is frequently used in longitudinal research. Based upon calls to investigate the psychometric properties of the multi-item ("Ages of Me") operationalization of subjective age, we conducted a series of tests that evaluated the stability and incremental predictive validity of this construct. Using a 3-wave longitudinal design with a sample of working adults (T1 N = 1,182, T2 N = 975, T3 N = 875), we identified that the multi-item composite measure of subjective age (feel-age, do-age, interest-age, and look-age) has stable psychometric properties over time. Regression analyses revealed that the multi-item subjective age operationalization had stronger associations with job performance, the achievement of personal workplace goals, and work-related flow than the single-item version; however, when controlling for prior levels of outcomes the majority of effects dissipated. Moreover, core self-evaluations had incremental predictive validity over subjective age and prior levels of outcomes. Relative weights analysis confirmed that the core self-evaluations construct is a more important predictor than either subjective age operationalization. Results are discussed in the context of debates surrounding the utility of subjective age and core self-evaluations for aging research. We offer theoretical and practical considerations for future studies on subjective age and core self-evaluations at work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-117
Number of pages23
JournalWork, Aging and Retirement
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • core self-evaluations
  • job performance
  • longitudinal study
  • measurement
  • subjective age


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