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Int J Aging Hum Dev. 2003;56(3):223-45.

Successful aging: perceptions of adults aged between 70 and 101 years.

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  • 1School of Psychology, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.


In this research, content analysis was employed to investigate older adults' perceptions of successful aging and the relationship of these perceptions to definitions given in the literature to date. Participants were 18 males and 42 females between the ages of 70 and 101 years. Analyses revealed older adults mentioned only 1 or 2 criteria of successful aging if asked for a definition; however, when prompted, they rated almost all the criteria emerging from the literature as highly important. Participants reported adjusting to the situations they were in by compensating for losses that occurred and selecting activities that best suited their capabilities. Overall, older adults' perceptions of successful aging were similar to aspects identified in the literature. Not all aspects, however, were seen as important by all participants, and only low to moderate correlations were found between some aspects of successful aging.

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