Background: Self-perceptions of age and illness have been
independently linked to a range of psychological, psychosocial,
and physical health outcomes. However, subjective
experiences of illness and ageing in older adults have been
examined separately. While both age and illness self-perceptions
uniquely contribute to the psychological health
of older adults, some findings suggest age and health are
intimately linked concepts for this population. The Common-
Sense Model (CSM) has been a useful conceptual framework
for examining subjective illness representations, and how
these guide cognitive and emotional responses to illness
experiences. We apply this framework to self-perceptions of
Objective: This study utilised the CSM to concurrently
examine age and illness self-perceptions in subjectively
healthy versus chronically ill older adults.
Method: This study uses a cross-sectional design. Correlational
analyses were performed to examine the relationship
between age and illness self-perceptions in 194 older,
community-dwelling Australian adults (mean age of 65
years) living with (N = 90) and without (N = 104) chronic
illness. Participants completed questionnaires which assessed
the age and illness dimensions of identity, timeline (cyclical/
acute), control, consequences and emotional representations.
The questionnaires were delivered online as part of a larger
Results: Preliminary analysis indicates significant relationships
between the age and illness dimensions for emotional
representations, timeline (cyclical), and control in both the
healthy and chronically ill groups. A signifi cant relationship
for the consequences dimension was found for the chronically
ill group only.
Conclusions: The implications of the findings are discussed.