A Research Study On Successful Aging

919 WordsNov 18, 20154 Pages
Successful aging is a complicated and multifaceted concept that varies contextually among individuals, disciplines, and even time. Gerontologists have traditionally considered a person to have aged successfully upon having reached old age with their physical health, mental well-being and spirit still intact. Ultimately, successful aging is a matter of personal perspective, largely influenced by an individual 's values and experiences. Even those within America 's elderly population hold conflicting perspectives on what it means to have aged successfully. A qualitative study published by Reichstadt and Sengupta titled Older Adults ' Perspectives on Successful Aging, concluded that “older adults viewed successful aging as a balance between self-acceptance and self-contentedness on one hand and engagement with life and self-growth in later life on the other” (Reichstadt, "Older Adults ' Perspectives on Successful Aging: Qualitative Interviews", pp. 567-575.) Gerontology as a field of scientific study can be traced back to the late 1800s; a time when research primarily focused on the negative attributes of aging, such as health decline. It wasn 't until the introduction of social gerontology in 1983 that researchers began to more rigorously study the psychological and social aspects of aging. In recognizing that “successful aging depends not just on the prevention of disease and disability, but also on the attainment of peak physical and psychological functioning,” (Quadagno,
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