Type of Content: Research

Subtype: Journal Article

Resource Title: Does Self-Efficacy and Team Leader Equity Matter for Older Workers’ Mental Health?

Publication Title: The Gerontologist, 60(6): 996–1004

Publish Date: September 2020


Background and Objectives

Prolonged working life is not necessarily associated with good mental health. Despite the importance of healthy working life in later years, little research has been conducted on predictors of mental health in the workplace among older workers. This study aimed to investigate how personal (self-efficacy) and team (leader equity) factors are associated with older workers’ mental health through work engagement.

Research Design and Methods

We analyzed responses of 508 U.S. workers aged 50 years and older from the Age and Generations Study data using structural equation modeling.


Results showed that perceived self-efficacy was a strong predictor of mental health. Also, work engagement was a powerful mechanism for promoting older adults’ mental health; engagement partially mediated the relationship between perceived self-efficacy and mental health, and fully mediated the relationship between team leader equity and mental health.

Discussion and Implications

The findings highlight how important it is for employers to invest in human capital development, suggesting human resource programs should focus on strategies that target older adults’ engagement through tailored self-efficacy programs and inclusive leadership training programs. Such attempts would contribute to enhancing the mental health of older workers.

Does Self-Efficacy and Team Leader Equity Matter for Older Workers’ Mental Health?

Resource URL: https://bit.ly/3gtUK2L