Successful Aging as the Intersection of Individual Resources, Age, Environment, and Experiences of Well-being in Daily Activities.

TitleSuccessful Aging as the Intersection of Individual Resources, Age, Environment, and Experiences of Well-being in Daily Activities.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsMejia, ST, Ryan, LH, Gonzalez, R, Smith, J
JournalThe journals of gerontology. Series B, the Psychological sciences and social sciences.
Volume72
Issue2
Pagination279-289
ISSN Number1758-5368
KeywordsDaily activities, Health Conditions and Status, Older Adults, Retirement Planning and Satisfaction
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: We conceptualize successful aging as a cumulative index of individual resources (the absence of disease and disability, high cognitive and physical functioning, social embeddedness) in the service of successful aging outcomes (global well-being, experienced well-being, and vital status), and conditioned by age, social structure, and environment.

METHOD: The study used baseline and follow-up data from the 2008-2014 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (N = 17,230; age = 51-101). Linear, multilevel, and logistic models compared individual resources at baseline as independent, cumulative, and binary predictors of outcomes 4 years later.

RESULTS: Individual resources were unequally distributed across age group and social structures (education, wealth, race, gender) and had a cumulative effect on all successful aging outcomes. For experienced well-being, individual resources were most important at midlife and for groups with lower education. Person-environment congruence (social cohesion, city satisfaction) was associated with all successful aging outcomes and conditioned the effect of individual resources on experienced well-being.

DISCUSSION: A cumulative index allows for gradations in resources that can be compensated for by external factors such as person-environment congruence. This index could guide policy and interventions to enhance resources in vulnerable subgroups and diminish inequalities in successful aging outcomes.

URLhttp://psychsocgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=28077430
DOI10.1093/geronb/gbw148
Alternate JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Citation Key8856
PubMed ID28077430