Facets of Subjective Health from Early Adulthood to Old Age

Carol E. Franz, Deborah Finkel, Matthew S. Panizzon, Kelly Spoon, Kaare Christensen, Margaret Gatz, William S. Kremen, Robert Krueger, Jenae Neiderhiser, Chandra Reynolds, Nancy L. Pedersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: Subjective health is a complex indicator predicting longevity independent of objective health. Few studies examine genetic and environmental mechanisms underlying different facets of subjective health across the life course. Method: Three subjective health measures were examined in 12,900 twins (Mage = 63.38, range = 25-102) from nine studies in the Interplay of Genes and Environment across Multiple Studies Consortium: self-rated health (SRH), health compared with others (COMP), and health interfering with activities (ACT). Results: Analyses indicated age and sex differences in mean scores depending on the measure. SRH and ACT showed significant linear and non-linear moderation by age for individual differences in both genetic and environmental variance. Significant sex differences in components of variance were found for SRH and ACT, but not COMP. Discussion: Subjective health appears to be dependent on frame of reference and reflect different aspects of health. Results suggest different genetic and environmental mechanisms underlie each facet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-171
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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