Exploring the Relationship Among the Undesired Self, Health, and Mood in Older Adults


  • This study was funded by Grant NIA AG03501 from the National Institute on Aging. The authors were assisted by Grant R24AG023958 from the National Institute of Aging during the writing of this article. The authors thank Susan Brownlee and Frances Sisack for their assistance on various aspects of the research reported in this article.

Pablo A. Mora, Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Arlington, Box 19528, Arlington, TX 76019. E-mail: pmora@uta.edu


Longitudinal data from older adults were analyzed to examine the impact of health factors on undesired and ideal self-discrepancies; and the association of these 2 self-discrepancies on moods. Results showed that after controlling for self-assessed health (SAH), fatigue/lack of energy was associated with the undesired but not the ideal self. A second set of analyses revealed that the undesired self-discrepancy predicted moods only at high levels of SAH. The ideal self was only associated with anxiety, but only at low levels of SAH. This evidence supports the idea that health-related factors are relevant for the self-discrepancies of older adults, especially the undesired self-discrepancy. We expanded prior evidence by demonstrating that the effects of self-discrepancies on mood are moderated by SAH.