Prior research indicates that across a variety of contexts, young adults use more first-person singular pronouns, indicating a stronger focus on the self, whereas older adults use more first-person plural pronouns, indicating a focus on connections (Pennebaker & Stone, 2003; Schwartz et al., 2013).We also examined gender differences in these patterns.
Rather than seeking new achievements, older adults’ self-presentations may be focused on financial and physical stability.
Individuals’ self-presentations may reflect age differences in motivations for the self and other.
Indeed, the language people use when constructing their self-presentations may convey such differences.
Elsewhere, Groom and Pennebaker (2005) examined online dating profiles of younger adults and found that women were more likely to use pronouns (especially first-person singular) than were men.
Moreover, older women also may be a key in maintaining family ties or serving as a “kinkeeper” (Brown & De Rycke, 2010), and this may extend to their presentations to potential dating partners.