Degree and content of negative meaning in four different age groups in Germany

Sanna Read*, Gerben J. Westerhof, Freya Dittmann-Kohli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to investigate the degree and content of negative meaning (i.e., negative evaluations, motivations, feelings) in four different age groups of men and women in East- and West-Germany. A sample was drawn from 290 cities in Germany which was stratified according to four age groups (18-25, 40-54, 55-69, and 70-85), gender and region of residence (West- or East-Germany). A total of 3,306 individuals participated in the study. A sentence completion task was administered to study negative meaning. An analysis of variance was carried out for the degree of negative meaning, as well as binary logistic regression and correspondence analysis for the content of negative meaning to study the differences between the four age groups, gender, and East- and West-Germans. The results showed that the youngest age group, men, and people living in the Western part of Germany reported significantly less negative meaning than other groups. However, the difference between the groups was very small. The negative meaning showed different content in age groups reflecting age-graded developmental tasks. Some gender and regional differences in the content of negative meaning were also found.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-104
Number of pages20
JournalInternational journal of aging and human development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


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