The correlates of cognitive ageing and adoption of defensive-ageing strategies among older adults

Fon Sim ONG, Yap Ying LU, Masoud ABESSI, David Rosser PHILLIPS

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to test the relationship between cognitive age and the adoption of defensive ageing consumption activities and its effect on life satisfaction in an Asian context. The relationship between the antecedent variables of chronological age, biological age and transitional life events and cognitive age is examined. Design/methodology/approach - Survey method. The study was conducted in Malaysia, an Asian country that is characterized as collectivistic. Data collection method used is convenience sampling method, using a sample of adults aged 40 years or older based on previous research. Measures used include cognitive age developed by Barak and Schiffman and validated by Wilkes. Life stage transitional events include a list of ten major life events that respondents experienced in the past 12 months. Biological changes are summated index of the number of biological changes (e.g. lengthy hospitalization or rehabilitation, hearing impairment) adopted from Mathur and Moschis. Defensive ageing consumption activities include skin care products, health supplements, beauty treatment and exercising, that are commonly adopted to fight ageing. Findings - The paper finds that in the context of an Asian country, consumers view themselves to be several younger than their chronological age, consistent with past research. Biological changes, transitional life events and chronological age had a significant positive relationship with cognitive age, consistent with the findings of past research. To the extent that cognitive age was found to be positively related to transitional life events, regression analysis showed that life event was not a predictor of cognitive age, further contributing to the inconclusive evidence regarding the effect of life events on cognitive age. Research results supported the negative relationship between cognitive age and anti-ageing consumption behaviour. Practical implications - Study of this nature will help to shape marketers' approach to attract older consumers. Marketers should shift their focus away from regarding older consumers as old since older consumers tend to view themselves as younger than their chronological age. An understanding of how consumers perceive themselves in terms of their cognitive age is useful for segmentation. Knowing how older adults view "age" is useful for communication strategies. Originality/value - This paper examines the effect of cognitive age on defensive ageing consumption activities in an Asian country, a collectivist society. The defensive consumption strategies included in this study were a range of products were commonly known but not tested. It extends the research by looking at the effect of defensive ageing consumption activities on life satisfaction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-305
Number of pages12
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


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