Main Article Content
This article explores the influence of psychosocial work environment on age-related subjective changes in work ability and discusses differences between work ability and job performance. The results show age and physical health to be strong predictors of subjective decline in work ability. The age effect is independent of age-associated declining health. It is not clear what it is about age that produces the subjective decline in work ability. While primary age changes may produce decline, stereotypes and self-stereotypes about ageing may also be important. Among psychosocial factors, options for learning and problems at work are robust predictors of subjective changes in work ability. One practical consequence is to ensure learning opportunities for workers, even for workers approaching retirement age. By giving learning opportunities to senior workers, subjective work ability may be maintained, and competence acquired through learning may in a direct way support stability or improvements in job performance.
The International Journal of Ageing and Later Life uses a Creative Commons: Attribution Non-commercial license which allows users to distribute the work and to reform or build upon it without the author's permission, for non-commercial purposes. Full reference to the author must be given.
See also LiU E-Press’ Copyright page for further information.
Ansiau, D., Marquie´, J. C., Soubelet, A. & Ramos, S. (2005). Relationships between cognitive characteristics of the job, age, and cognitive efficiency. International Congress Series 1280: 43–48. [Read this article]
Arnkil, R. (2006). Working conditions and working ability. In Identification of good practice to increase job opportunities and maintain older workers in employment. European Commission. Available on http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/emplweb/news/index_en (Accessed: March 12, 2007)
Baltes, P. B. & Baltes, M. M. (1990). Psychological perspectives on successful aging: The model of selective optimization with compensation. In P. B. Baltes & M. M. Baltes (eds.) Successful Aging. Perspectives from the Behavioral Sciences (pp. 1–34). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Blekesaune, M. & Solem, P. E. (2005). Working conditions and early retirement. A prospective study of retirement behavior. Research on Aging 27(1): 3–30. [Read this article]
Bosma, H., van Boxtel, M. P. J., Ponds, R. W. H. M., Houx, P. J., Burdorf, A. & Jolles, J. (2003). Mental work demands protect against cognitive impairment: MAAS prospective cohort study. Experimental Aging Research 29(1): 33–45. [Read this article] PMid:12735080
Capanni, C., Sartori, S., Carpentiero, G. & Costa, G. (2005). Work ability index in a cohort of railway construction workers. International Congress Series 1280: 253–257. [Read this article]
Czaja, S. J. (2001). Technological change and the older worker. In J. E. Birren & K. W. Schaie (eds.) Handbook of the Psychology of Aging (5th ed) (pp. 547–568). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Dalen, E. (2003). Seniorpolitisk barometer. Yrkesaktiv befolkning. 26. august – 5. september 2003. [Senior Policy Barometer. Employed Persons. 26. August – 5. September 2003.] Oslo: MMI Univero. Rapport utarbeidet for Senter for seniorpolitikk.
Furunes, T. (2008). Managing older workers. Perceptions, attitudes, discriminatory intentions, and decision latitudes. PhD Thesis UiS no. 53 – June 2008. Stavanger: University of Stavanger.
Gandek, B., Ware, J. E., Aronson, N. K., Apolone, G., Bjorner, J. B., Brazier, J. E., Bullinger, M., Kaasa, S., Leplege, A., Prieto, L. & Sullivan, M. (1998). Cross-validation of item selection and scoring of the SF-12 Health Survey in nine countries. Results from the Medical Outcomes Study. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 51(11): 1171–1178. [Read this article] PMid:9817135
Gelderblom, A. (2006). The relationship of age with productivity and wages. In Ageing and employment: Identification of good practice to increase job opportunities and maintain older workers in employment. European Commission (pp. 67–84, 216–228). Available on http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/emplweb/news/index_en (Accessed: March 12, 2007)
Goedhard, R. G. & Goedhard, W. J. A. (2005). Work ability and perceived work stress. International Congress Series 1280: 79–83. [Read this article]
Holte, H. H., Krokstad, S. & Magnus, P. (2000). Årsaker til uførepensjonering [Causes of disability retirement]. Oslo: Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Report no 5.
Ilmarinen, J. (1999). Ageing Workers in the European Union – Status and Promotion of Work Ability, Employability and Employment. Helsinki: Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.
Ilmarinen, J., Tuomi, K. & Seitsamo, J. (2005). New dimensions of work ability. International Congress Series 1280: 3–7. [Read this article]
Ingebretsen, R. & Lindbom, C. (2000). Midt i livet og midt i arbeidslivet [In the middle of life and middle of working life]. Oslo: Nova report 19/00.
Krause, N., Lynch, J., Kaplan, G. A., Cohen, R. D., Goldberg, D. E. & Salonen, J. T. (1997). Predictors of disability retirement. Scandinavian Journal of Work Environment and Health 23(6): 403–413.
Levy, B. R. (2003). Mind matters: Cognitive and physical effects of aging self-stereotypes. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences 58B(4): P203–P211.
Loretto, W., Vickerstaff, S. & White, P. (eds.) (2007) The future for older workers. New perspectives. Bristol: The Policy Press.
Maltby, T., de Vroom, B., Mirabile, M. L. & Øverbye, E. (eds.) (2004). Ageing and the Transition to Retirement. A Comparative Analysis of European Welfare States. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Margrain, T. H. & Boulton, M. (2005). Sensory impairment. In M. Johnson (ed.) The Cambridge Handbook of Age and Ageing (pp. 121–130). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
McEvoy, G. M. & Cascio, W. F. (1989). Cumulative evidence of the relationship between employee age and job performance. Journal of Applied Psychology 74(1): 11–17. [Read this article]
Merton, R. K. (1995). The Thomas theorem and the Matthew effect. Social Forces 74(2): 379–424. [Read this article]
Midtsundstad, T. (2006). Hvordan bidra til lenger yrkeskarrierer? Erfaringer fra norsk og internasjonal forskning om tidligpensjonering og seniortiltak [How to contribute to prolonged working careers. Experiences from Norwegian and international research on early retirement and senior policy]. Oslo: Fafo. Fafo-rapport 534.
Mykletun, A., Mykletun, R. J. & Solem, P. E. (2000). Holdninger til alder og arbeid i kommunesektoren. Muligheter for å motvirke tidlig yrkesavgang [Attitudes towards age and work in the municipality sector. Possibilities of counteracting early exit]. Oslo: KLP forsikring. KLP rapport 2000.
OECD (2006a). Live Longer, Work Longer. Paris: OECD Publications. OECD (2006b). Employment Outlook. Paris: OECD Publications.
Palmore, E. (1999). Ageism. New York: Springer.
Phillipson, C. & Smith, A. (2005). Extending working life: A review of the research literature. Department for Work and Pensions Research. Report No 299. Available on www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/ (Accessed: November 5, 2007).
Quinn, J. F. (1978). Job characteristics and early retirement. Industrial Relations 17(3): 315–323. [Read this article]
Rotundo, M. & Sackett, P. R. (2002). The relative importance of task, citizenship, and counterproductive performance to global ratings of job performance: A policy-capturing approach. Journal of Applied Psychology 87(1): 66–80. [Read this article] PMid:11916217
Salthouse, T. & Maurer, T. J. (1996). Aging, job performance, and career development. In J. E. Birren & K. W. Schaie (eds.), Handbook of the Psychology of Aging (4th ed., pp. 353–364). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Schaie, K. W. (1996). Intellectual development in adulthood. In J. E. Birren & K. W. Schaie (eds.), Handbook of the Psychology of Aging (4th ed., pp. 266–286). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Schooler, C. (1990). Psychosocial factors and effective cognitive functioning through the life span. In J. E. Birren & K. W. Schaie (eds.), Handbook of the Psychology of Aging (3rd ed., pp. 347–358). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Schooler, C., Mulatu, M. S. & Oates, G. (1999). The continuing effects of substantively complex work in the intellectual functioning of older workers. Psychology and Aging 14(3): 483–506. [Read this article]
Selye, H. (1974). Stress Without Distress. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott.
Skirbekk, V. (2004). Age and individual productivity: A literature survey. In G. Feichtinger (ed.), Vienna Yearbook of Population Research (pp. 133–153). Vienna: Austrian Academy of Science Press.
Solem, P. E. & Blekesaune, M. (2005). Arbeid og pensjonering – vil interessen for arbeid endres? [Work and retirement – are the interest in work changing?]. In B. Slagsvold & P. E. Solem (eds.), Morgendagens eldre. En sammenligning av verdier, holdninger og atferd blant dagens middelaldrende og eldre (pp. 169–180). [Tomorrow’s elderly. A comparison of values, attitudes and behaviour among the middle aged and elderly of today.] Oslo: Norsk institutt for forskning om oppvekst, velferd og aldring. NOVA-rapport 11/05.
Solem, P. E. & Mykletun, R. J. (1997). Work environment and early exit from work. In Å. Kilbom, P. Westerholm, L. Hallsten & B. Furåker (eds.), Work after 45? Series Arbete och Hälsa, 1997:29 (pp. 285–292). Solna, Sweden: National Institute for Working Life.
Stagner, R. (1985). Aging in industry. In J. E. Birren & K. W. Schaie (eds.), Handbook of the Psychology of Aging (2nd ed., pp. 798–817). New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.
Statistics Norway (2007). Available on http://statbank.ssb.no/statistikkbanken/Default_FR.asp?PXSid_0&nvl_true&PLanguage_0&tilside_selecttable/MenuSelS.asp&SubjectCode_06 (Accessed: November 14, 2007)
Sturman, M. C. (2003). Searching for the inverted U-shaped relationship between time and performance: Meta-analyses of the experience/performance, tenure/performance, and age/performance relationship. Journal of Management 29(5): 609–640.
Tobia, L., Giammaria, A., Pizzuti, F., Gioia, F., Lupi, A., Spera, G. & Paoletti, A. (2005). Elderly workers in chemical, energetic, sanitary and public fields: Evaluation of work ability. International Congress Series 1280: 322–327. [Read this article]
Torgén, M. (2005). Experiences of WAI in a random sample of the Swedish working population. International Congress Series 1280: 328–332.
Toumi, K., Ilmarinen, J., Jahkola, A., Katajarinne, L. & Tulkki, A. (1998). Work Ability Index (2nd rev. ed.). Helsinki: Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. Occupational Health Care 19.
Vickerstaff, S., Loretto, W. & White, P. (2007). The future for older workers: Opportunities and constraints. In W. Loretto, S. Vickerstaff & P. White (eds.), The Future for Older Workers. New Perspectives (pp. 203–226). Bristol: The Policy Press.
Waldman, D. A. & Aviolo, B. J. (1986). A meta-analysis of age differences in job performance. Journal of Applied Psychology 71: 33–38. [Read this article]
Warr, P. (1994). Age and job performance. In J. Snel & R. R. Cremer (eds.), Work and Aging. A European Perspective (pp. 309–322). London: Taylor & Francis.
Warr, P. (1998). Age, competence and learning at work. In Å. Kilbom (ed.), Ageing of the workforce. Solna: Arbetslivsinstitutet. Rapport 1998:24.
WHO (1993). Aging and working capacity. Geneva: World Health Organization. Technical Report Series; 835.
Zacher, H. (2007). Relationship between age and different forms of job performance: Implications for Human Resource Management. Working paper, EAWOP small group meeting on ‘‘Ageing and Work’’, January 17–19 2007. Available on http://www.tilburguniversity.nl/faculties/fsw/departments/HRS/SGM/papers/Zacher.pdf (Accessed: November 20, 2007)