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Psychol Aging. 2002 Sep;17(3):520-4.

Adaptation to disability: applying selective optimization with compensation to the behaviors of older adults with osteoarthritis.

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The Arthritis Community Research and Evaluation Unit, The University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


This research extends the use of P. B. Baltes and M. M. Baltes's (1990) theory of selective optimization with compensation (SOC) in an effort to conceptually integrate the adaptational behaviors of 248 older adults with disability arising from osteoarthritis. The authors also studied the relationship of SOC to age, illness variables, disability, illness perceptions, and support. The results highlight the variability and plasticity of older adults' efforts to manage disability, with most efforts aimed at compensation and optimization rather than selection. The benefit of using SOC to study adaptation to chronic illness and disability is discussed.

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