Sense of mastery among older adults and its relation to invalidating childhood experiences

Anat Talmon*, Noa Cohen, Yael Raif, Karni Ginzburg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


ObjectivesSense of mastery, a well-recognized resource for older adults, has been shown to be related to early life experiences, especially parent-child interactions. Yet while there are indications that a reduced sense of mastery is related to early experiences of child maltreatment, this association has not been studied among older adults. The aim of this study was to examine the relation between experiences of childhood parental invalidation and sense of mastery among older adults, through the mediation of self-objectification and perceived disrupted body boundaries. Methods: Three-hundred-and-sixteen older adults (Mean = 72.24; SD = 8.12 years; range: 60-94) filled out a battery of questionnaires assessing their levels of exposure to childhood parental invalidation experiences, sense of self-objectification, disrupted body boundaries, and sense of mastery Results: A structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis supported the hypothesized research model. More specifically, two significant indirect effects were observed, according to which the association between invalidating childhood experiences and sense of mastery was mediated by both self-objectification and by disrupted body boundaries. Conclusion: As these results suggest that early life experiences continue to affect individuals’ sense of self in older age, they should be considered an important factor for evaluation and intervention.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2186-2194
Number of pages9
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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  • Older adults
  • body boundaries
  • invalidating childhood experience
  • self-objectification
  • sense of mastery


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