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Am J Psychiatry. 1990 Jan;147(1):31-7.

Natural history of male psychological health, XII: a 45-year study of predictors of successful aging at age 65.

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Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH 03756.


In order to determine important predictors of psychosocial and physical vitality in late midlife, the authors examined the lives of 173 men prospectively studied from ages 18 to 65. Biopsychosocial predictors--gathered before age 50--were examined for their correlation with three outcome variables measured at age 65: physical health, mental health, and life satisfaction. Extent of tranquilizer use before age 50 was the most powerful negative predictor of both mental and physical health outcomes at age 65. Another important predictor for mental health was maturity of defenses before age 50. Paradoxically, warm childhood environment made an important independent contribution to predicting physical--not mental--health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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