Successful Aging

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


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’.


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.


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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

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