We apply new statistical models to daily diary data to advance both methodological and conceptual goals. We examine age effects in within-person slopes in daily diary data and introduce Generalized Fiducial Inference (GFI), which provides a compromise between frequentist and Bayesian inference. We use daily stressor exposure data across six domains to generate within-person emotional reactivity slopes with daily negative affect. We test for systematic age differences and similarities in these reactivity slopes, which are inconsistent in previous research.
One hundred and eleven older (aged 60–90) and 108 younger (aged 18–36) adults responded to daily stressor and negative affect questions each day for eight consecutive days, resulting in 1,438 total days. Daily stressor domains included arguments, avoided arguments, work/volunteer stressors, home stressors, network stressors, and health-related stressors.
Using Bayesian, GFI, and frequentist paradigms, we compared results for the six stressor domains with a focus on interpreting age effects in within-person reactivity. Multilevel models suggested null age effects in emotional reactivity across each of the paradigms within the domains of avoided arguments, work/volunteer stressors, home stressors, and health-related stressors. However, the models diverged with respect to null age effects in emotional reactivity to arguments and network stressors.
The three paradigmsmore »