Perceptions of ageing


Perceptions of aging have been found to independently contribute to various aspects of health and well-being in old age. This study examined the reliability and construct validity of the Dutch-language version of the 7-dimension Aging Perceptions Questionnaire (APQ). Furthermore, in order to decrease the response burden, while retaining the APQ’s original factor structure, a short version of the APQ (APQ-S) was developed as an alternative to the 5-dimension Brief APQ (B-APQ).

The APQ-S consists of 21 items, comprising seven (sub)scales, i.e., timeline chronic, timeline cyclical, consequence positive, consequence negative, emotional representations, control positive, and control negative. Answers are provided on a 5-point scale, ranging from 1 ‘strongly disagree’ to 5 ‘strongly agree’. The response scale of the control negative dimension is reversed (1 ‘strongly agree’ to 5 ‘strongly disagree’) and thus has to be recoded for further analyses.

English version:

  • Timeline chronic

APQ_S_1. I am always aware of my age

APQ_S_2. I always classify myself as old

APQ_S_3. I am always aware of the fact that I am getting older

  • Timeline cyclical

APQ_S_4. I go through cycles in which my experience of ageing gets better and worse

APQ_S_5. I go through phases of feeling old

APQ_S_6. My awareness of getting older changes a great deal from day to day

  • Consequence positive

APQ_S_7. As I get older I get wiser

APQ_S_8. As I get older I continue to grow as a person

APQ_S_9. As I get older I appreciate things more

  • Consequence negative

APQ_S_10. Getting older restricts the things that I can do

APQ_S_11. Getting older makes everything a lot harder for me

APQ_S_12. As I get older I can take part in fewer activities

  • Emotional representations

APQ_S_13. I get depressed when I think about getting older

APQ_S_14. I worry about the effects that getting older may have on my relationships with others

APQ_S_15. I feel angry when I think about getting older

  • Control positive

APQ_S_16. The quality of my social life in later years depends on me

APQ_S_17. Whether I continue living life to the full depends on me

APQ_S_18. Whether getting older has positive sides to it depends on me

  • Control negative

APQ_S_19. Slowing down with age is not something I can control

APQ_S_20. How mobile I am in later life is not up to me

APQ_S_21. I have no control over whether I lose vitality or zest for life as I age

Dutch version:

  • Chronische tijdslijn

APQ_S_1. Ik ben me altijd bewust van mijn leeftijd

APQ_S_2. Ik zie mezelf altijd als een ouder iemand

APQ_S_3. Ik ben me altijd bewust van het feit dat ik ouder word

  • Cyclische tijdslijn

APQ_S_4. Ik zit in een cyclus waarin ik afwisselend betere en slechtere ervaringen heb met het ouder worden

APQ_S_5. Er zijn tijden dat ik me oud voel

APQ_S_6. Van dag tot dag heb ik een ander besef van het ouder worden

  • Positieve consequenties

APQ_S_7. Naarmate ik ouder word, word ik wijzer

APQ_S_8. Naarmate ik ouder word, neemt mijn persoonlijke groei toe

APQ_S_9. Naarmate ik ouder word, waardeer ik dingen steeds meer

  • Negatieve consequenties

APQ_S_10. Het ouder worden beperkt mijn mogelijkheden

APQ_S_11. Het ouder worden maakt alles veel moeilijker voor mij

APQ_S_12. Naarmate ik ouder word, kan ik aan minder activiteiten deelnemen

  • Emotionele representaties

APQ_S_13. Denken aan het ouder worden maakt me somber

APQ_S_14. Ik maak me zorgen over het mogelijke effect van het ouder worden op mijn relaties met anderen

APQ_S_15. Denken aan het ouder worden maakt me boos

  • Positieve controle 

APQ_S_16. De kwaliteit van mijn sociale leven op latere leeftijd hangt af van mijzelf

APQ_S_17. Of ik nog altijd een volwaardig leven kan leiden hangt af van mijzelf

APQ_S_18. Of het ouder worden positieve kanten heeft hangt af van mijzelf

  • Negatieve controle

APQ_S_19. Trager worden op hogere leeftijd is niet iets dat ik zelf in de hand heb

APQ_S_20. Het ligt niet aan mij hoe mobiel ik ben op latere leeftijd

APQ_S_21. Ik kan er zelf niets aan doen als ik later minder vitaal word of mijn levenslust verlies


  • COMPUTE APQ_S = mean.14 (APQ_S_1, APQ_S_2, APQ_S_3, APQ_S_4, APQ_S_5, APQ_S_6, APQ_S_7, APQ_S_8, APQ_S_9, APQ_S_10, APQ_S_11, APQ_S_12, APQ_S_13, APQ_S_14, APQ_S_15, APQ_S_16, APQ_S_17, APQ_S_18).
  • COMPUTE APQ_S_timeline_chronic= mean.2 (APQ_S_1, APQ_S_2, APQ_S_3).
  • COMPUTE APQ_S_timeline_chronic = mean.2 (APQ_S_4, APQ_S_5, APQ_S_6).
  • COMPUTE APQ_S_timeline_chronic = mean.2 (APQ_S_7, APQ_S_8, APQ_S_9).
  • COMPUTE APQ_S_timeline_chronic = mean.2 (APQ_S_10, APQ_S_11, APQ_S_12).
  • COMPUTE APQ_S_timeline_chronic = mean.2 (APQ_S_13, APQ_S_14, APQ_S_15).
  • COMPUTE APQ_S_timeline_chronic = mean.2 (APQ_S_16, APQ_S_17, APQ_S_18).
  • COMPUTE APQ_S_timeline_chronic = mean.2 (APQ_S_19, APQ_S_20, APQ_S_21).


Slotman, A., Cramm, J.M., Nieboer, A.P. (2015). Validation of the Dutch Aging Perceptions Questionnaire and development of a short version. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes.