Profiles of reminiscence among older adults: Perceived stress, life attitudes, and personality variables

Philippe Cappeliez, Norm O'Rourke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The goal of the present study was to identify subgroups of older participants on the basis of unique configurations of variables among functions of reminiscence, personality traits, life attitudes, and perceived stress by means of cluster analysis. Ninety-three older adults (M = 66.7 years of age) completed the NEO-Five Factor Inventory, the Life Attitude Profile-Revised, the Reminiscence Functions Scale, and the Psychological State of Stress Measure. Cluster membership was determined on the basis of intra-personal functions of reminiscence (Boredom Reduction, Death Preparation, Identity, Bitterness Revival). These groups were subsequently compared on personality traits (Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness to experience), life attitudes (Existential Vacuum, Goal Seeking), and perceived stress. Three distinct groupings emerged. A greater tendency to ruminate about negative memories and lower extraversion characterized the negative reminiscers. Higher frequency of reminiscence related to issues of identity, life meaning and death, together with a tendency toward openness to experience, typified the meaning seekers. Lower reminiscence frequency for each of the four functions, combined with lower perceived stress and neuroticism, characterized the infrequent reminiscers. These results are interpreted in terms of differential patterns of coping and adaptation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-266
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - 23 Sep 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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