Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 261–278

A New Multidimensional Model of Successful Aging: Perceptions of Japanese American Older Adults

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10823-011-9147-9

Cite this article as:
Iwamasa, G.Y. & Iwasaki, M. J Cross Cult Gerontol (2011) 26: 261. doi:10.1007/s10823-011-9147-9


This study examined the concept of successful aging using an ethnographic grounded-theory approach. Seventy-seven Japanese American older adults participated in focus groups. Participants perceived successful aging as optimal functioning in the following areas: Physical health, psychological health, cognitive functioning, socialization, spirituality, and financial security. The content of each dimension represents both culture-specific and culturally-universal elements. This new multidimensional model of successful aging was compared to Rowe and Kahn’s (The Gerontologist 37:433–440, 1997) and Phelan et al.’s frameworks (Journal of the American Geriatric Society 52:211–216, 2004) of successful aging. The model of successful aging generated from this study appears to be more comprehensive than existing models and incorporates sociocultural experiences.


Japanese AmericansOlder adultsSuccessful agingFocus groupsQualitative methodGrounded theory

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA)  2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health AdministrationOffice of Mental Health OperationsIndianapolisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling & Counseling PsychologyWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyDePaul UniversityChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Department of Counseling & Guidance ServicesBall State UniversityMuncieUSA