Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Santa Barbara

UC Santa Barbara Electronic Theses and Dissertations bannerUC Santa Barbara

Cultural Variability in the Association Between Age and Well-Being: The Role of Uncertainty Avoidance


Past research found a mixed relationship between age and subjective well-being. The current research advances the understanding of these findings by incorporating a cultural perspective. We tested whether the relationship between age and well-being is moderated by uncertainty avoidance (UA), a cultural dimension that deals with a society’s tolerance for ambiguity. In Study 1, using a multilevel approach with a large international database (N = 61,256), we found that older age is associated with lower well-being in countries higher in UA, but not in countries lower in UA, and this cultural variation is mediated by sense of control. In Study 2, we compared a low (United States) and high (Romania) UA culture (N=1,025) and found a consistent pattern; age is negatively associated with well-being in Romania but not the United States. This cultural difference is mediated by use of different coping strategies reflective of different levels of sense of control.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View