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The papers were published on Wednesday in a special supplement to the August issue of The Gerontologist, with the principal investigator of one project, Jacqui Smith, commenting that the studies were carried out as the team was "interested in the way people interpret their own lives."

"We know that the images in the world and age stereotypes play a role in how people perceive their own aging," Smith added. "But subtle experiences of discrimination in interactions with strangers and sometimes with your own kids or partner -- that is feedback that people take to heart and either rebel against it or begin to believe it."

One of the studies, which looked at 1,231 couples with an age range of 51-90, found that couples who tend to view their aging negatively also tend to become less healthy and less mobile than couples who view their aging positively.

In addition, husbands' health problems influenced their own and their wives' attitudes towards aging, as well as their wives' health because of the increased burden of caregiving.