Successful Aging

  • Donald T. Rowland
Chapter
Part of the International Perspectives on Aging book series (Int. Perspect. Aging, volume 3)

Abstract

At the individual level there is considerable potential for lessening some of the social and personal costs of population aging. Chapter 10 (Successful Aging) examines this with reference to Rowe and Kahn’s concept of ‘successful aging’. This research-based and policy-relevant concept has contributed to a new positive direction for the study of aging at the individual level, superseding the earlier emphasis on decline and loss. The chapter explains the origins and nature of successful aging and presents an evaluation of it. The chapter first discusses the various concepts of successful aging in the literature and the significance of Rowe and Kahn’s work, which some have described as the ‘new paradigm’. The authors’ three components of successful aging are the focus of the middle sections of the chapter which highlight key conclusions, such as the notion that exercise is the single most important means through which older people may avoid disease. Despite the relevance of successful aging to promoting improvements in individual and population health, the concept has a number of limitations. These are the subject of later sections, together with the challenge to successful aging presented by the obesity ‘epidemic’.

Keywords

Life Satisfaction Calorie Restriction Active Engagement Successful Aging Usual Aging 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Albrecht, G. L., & Devlieger, P. J. (1999). The disability paradox: High quality of life against all odds. Social Science and Medicine, 48, 977–988.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andrews, G. (2002). Valencia forum statement at the second world assembly on ageing, Madrid, Spain. 2002. http://www.un.org/ageing/coverage/vforumE.htm. Accessed Apr 2011.
  3. Baltes, P. B., & Baltes, M. M. (Eds.). (1990). Successful aging: Perspectives from the behavioral sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bengtson, V. L., Putney, N. M., & Johnson, M. L. (2005). The problem of theory in gerontology today. In M. L. Johnson (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of age and ageing (pp. 3–20). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bennett, S. A., Magnus, P., & Gibson, D. (2004). Obesity trends in older Australians. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Bulletin, No. 12. Canberra: AIHW.Google Scholar
  6. Chopra, M., & Darnton-Hill, I. (2004). Tobacco and obesity epidemics: Not so different after all? British Medical Journal, 328, 1558–1560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cicero, M. T. (44BC/1988). Cato maior de senectute (J. G. F. Powell, Ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Crowther, M. R., Parker, M. W., Achenbaum, W. A., Larimore, W. L., & Koenig, H. G. (2002). Rowe and Kahn’s model of successful aging revisited: Positive spirituality – The forgotten factor. The Gerontologist, 42(5), 613–620.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Everitt, A. V. (2004). Can calorie restriction prolong life? Medicine Today, 5(4), 91–92.Google Scholar
  10. Everitt, A. V., Le Couteur, D. G., & Hilmer, S. N. (2004). Calorie restriction and drug therapy to delay the onset of age-related vascular disease and extend life. Paper presented at the Inaugural International Conference on Longevity, Sydney.Google Scholar
  11. Flood, M. (2002). Successful aging: A concept analysis. Journal of Theory Construction and Testing, 6(2), 105–108.Google Scholar
  12. Garry, P. J. (2001). Aging successfully: A genetic perspective. Nutrition Reviews, 59(8), S93–S101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gatz, M., & Zarit, S. H. (1999). A good old age: Paradox or possibility. In V. L. Bengtson & K. W. Schaie (Eds.), Handbook of theories of aging (pp. 396–413). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  14. Glass, T. A. (2003). Assessing the success of successful ageing. Annals of Internal Medicine, 139(5), 382–383.Google Scholar
  15. Gubrium, J. F., & Lynott, R. J. (1985). Rethinking life satisfaction. In B. B. Hess & E. W. Markson (Eds.), Growing old in America: New perspectives on old age (pp. 223–242). New Brunswick: Transaction Books.Google Scholar
  16. Havighurst, R. J. (1961). Successful aging. The Gerontologist, 1, 4–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Havighurst, R. J. (1963). Successful aging. In R. H. Williams, C. Tibbitts, & W. Donohue (Eds.), Processes of aging, social and psychological perspectives (Vol. 1, pp. 299–320). New York: Atherton.Google Scholar
  18. Havighurst, R. J., & Albrecht, R. (1953). Older people. New York: Longmans Green.Google Scholar
  19. Holstein, M. B., & Minkler, M. (2003). Self, society, and the “new gerontology”. The Gerontologist, 43(6), 787–796.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jarcho, S. (1971). Cicero’s essay on old age. Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 47(11), 1440–1445.Google Scholar
  21. Jorm, A. F., Christensen, H., Henderson, A. S., Jacomb, P. A., Korten, A. E., & Mackinnon, A. (1998). Factors associated with successful ageing. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 17(1), 33–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Knoops, K. T. B., et al. (2004). Mediterranean diet, lifestyle factors, and 10-year mortality in elderly European men and women. Journal of the American Medical Association, 292(12), 1433–1439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Marmot, M., & Wilkinson, R. G. (Eds.). (1999). Social determinants of health. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Marmot, M., & Wilkinson, R. G. (Eds.). (2006). Social determinants of health (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. McCarthy, M. (2006). Transport and health. In M. Marmot & R. G. Wilkinson (Eds.), Social determinants of health (2nd ed., pp. 131–147). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  26. McPherson, B. D. (1990). Aging as a social process. Toronto: Butterworth.Google Scholar
  27. Menec, V. H. (2003). The relation between everyday activities and successful aging: A 6-year longitudinal study. Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 58B(2), S74–S82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Minichiello, V., & Coulson, I. (Eds.). (2006). Contemporary issues in gerontology: Promoting positive ageing. Sydney: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  29. Mizuno, T., Shu, I. W., Makimura, H., & Mobbs, C. (2004). Obesity over the life course. Science of Aging Knowledge Environment, 24, 4.Google Scholar
  30. Mokdad, A. H., Ford, E. S., Bowman, B. A., Dietz, W. H., Vinicor, F., Bales, V. S., & Marks, J. S. (2003). Prevalence of obesity, diabetes and obesity-related health risk factors, 2001. Journal of the American Medical Association, 289(1), 76–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Peel, N., Bartlett, H., & McClure, R. (2004). Healthy ageing: How is it defined and measured? Australasian Journal on Ageing, 23(3), 115–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Peeters, A., Barendregt, J. J., Willekens, F., Mackenbach, J. P., Al Mamun, A., & Bonneux, L. (2003). Obesity in adulthood and its consequences for life expectancy: A life-table analysis. Annals of Internal Medicine, 138(1), 24–32.Google Scholar
  33. Robertson, A., Brunner, E., & Sheiham, A. (1999). Food is a political issue. In M. Marmot & R. G. Wilkinson (Eds.), Social determinants of health (pp. 179–210). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Rowe, J. W., & Kahn, R. L. (1987). Human aging: Usual and successful. Science, 237, 143–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rowe, J. W., & Kahn, R. L. (1997). Successful aging. The Gerontologist, 37(4), 433–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rowe, J. W., & Kahn, R. L. (1998). Successful aging (large print edition). New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  37. Stansfeld, S. A. (2006). Social support and social cohesion. In M. Marmot & R. G. Wilkinson (Eds.), Social determinants of health (2nd ed., pp. 148–171). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Strawbridge, W. J., Wallhagen, M. I., & Cohen, R. D. (2002). Successful aging and well-being: Self-rated compared with Rowe and Kahn. The Gerontologist, 42, 727–733.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Suzuki, M., Willcox, B., & Willcox, C. (1995). Centenarians in Japan. Tokyo: Nakayamashoten. See: Okinawa Centenarian Study http://www.okicent.org/study.html. Accessed June 2011.
  40. Torres, S. (1999). A culturally-relevant theoretical framework for the study of successful ageing. Ageing and Society, 19, 33–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Vaillant, G. E. (2002). Ageing well: Surprising guideposts to a happier life from the landmark Harvard study of adult development. Carlton North: Scribe Publications.Google Scholar
  42. Vaillant, G. E., & Mukamal, K. (2001). Successful aging. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 158(6), 839–847.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. von Faber, M., Gussekloo, J., & Knook, D. L. (2001). Successful aging in the oldest old: Who can be characterised as successfully aged? Archives of Internal Medicine, 161(22), 2694–2700.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Willcox, B. J. (2004). How much should we eat? The association between energy intake and mortality in a 36-year follow-up study of Japanese-American men. Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences, 59A(8), 789–795.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Woolmington, E. (1971). Theoretical implications of the Malthusian inversion. In R. J. Johnston & J. M. Soons (Eds.), Proceedings of the sixth New Zealand geography conference (pp. 19–29). Christchurch: New Zealand Geographical Society.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Netherlands 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald T. Rowland
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Sociology Research School of Social SciencesThe Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

Personalised recommendations