Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Carolyn M. Aldwin
Successful aging is a relatively new construct, growing out of the recognition that there are individual differences in both the rate and the manner in which individuals age. Some individuals in their 60s and 70s can run marathons and are cognitively sharp, while others in midlife are coping with disabling chronic illnesses such as diabetes and may be suffering the beginnings of cognitive decline. Similarly, some individuals are happy and enjoy good relations with family and friends, while others are isolated and lonely. Given that the study of successful aging is relatively new, there are as yet no fixed definitions, although there are different models in the literature. This entry reviews these models as well as the predictors of successful aging. Rowe and Kahn (1998) have proposed the most widely accepted model. Their three components of successful aging include the absence of disease, good cognitive and physical functioning, and an ...