Optimal aging: a review on principal theoretical models and on proactive strategies that promote it

Author/s Manuela Zambianchi
Publishing Year 2013 Issue 2013/1
Language Italian Pages 35 P. 9-43 File size 371 KB
DOI 10.3280/RIP2013-01001
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

The Review has analyzed the issues related to optimal aging and the active, individual strategies that could promote it. After a brief examination of the historical and demographic processes that are involving the population, the Review investigates the contemporary principal models on optimal aging, and makes a comparison aimed to identify common features and conceptual differences among them. The potential impact on health and social policies of these conceptions are also evidenced and discussed. A common aspect of these models is the central relevance attributed to the presence of high level of physical, psychological and social resources, in order to achieve an optimal aging. The special attention deserved to systemic bio-psycho-social conception of resources lead to the question of which could be the effective strategies through which these resources can be accumulated over time and selectively allocated according to desires, values and potentials of old people. The active strategies of Selection, Optimization and Compensation together with proactive coping strategies are examined for their contribution to the maintenance of a high overall functioning and to the conservation of resources. The Review wind up with several hypotheses concerning future areas of research on the issues of optimal aging and proactive strategies.

Keywords: Optimal aging, theoretical models, proactive strategies, resources

  1. Antonovsky, A. (1987). Unraveling the mystery of health: How people manage stress and stay well. The Jossey-Bass social and behavioral science series and the Jossey-Bass health series: San Francisco.
  2. Aspinwall, L.G. (1997). Where planning meets coping: Proactive coping and the detection and management of potential stressors. In S.L. Friedman & E.K. Scholnick (Eds.), The developmental psychology of planning: Why, how, and when do we plan? (pp. 285-320). London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.
  3. Aspinwall, L.G., & Taylor, S.E. (1997). A stitch in time: self-regulation and proactive coping. Psychological Bulletin, 121, 417-436. DOI: 10.1037/0033-2909.121.3.417
  4. Baltes, P. (1987). Theoretical propositions of life-span developmental psychology: on the dynamics between growth and decline. Developmental Psychology, 5, 611-626. DOI: 10.1037/0012-1649.23.5.611
  5. Baltes, P.B., & Baltes, M. (1990). Psychological perspectives on successful aging: the model of selective optimization with compensation. In P.B. Baltes & M.M. Baltes (Eds.). Successful aging: perspectives from the behavioural sciences (pp. 1-34). New York: Cambridge University Press. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511665684.003
  6. Baltes, P.B., & Carstensen, L.L. (1996). The process of successful ageing, Ageing and Society, 16, 397-422. DOI: 10.1017/S0144686X00003603
  7. Baltes, P.B., & Mayer, K.U. (1999). The Berlin Aging Study. Aging from 70 to 100. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  8. Baltes, P.B., & Smith, J. (1997). A systemic-holistic view of psychological functioning in very old age: introduction to a collection of articles from the Berlin Aging Study. Psychology and Aging, 12, 395-409. DOI: 10.1037/0882-7974.12.3.395
  9. Baltes, P.B., & Smith, J. (2003). New frontiers in the future of aging: from successful aging of the young old to the dilemmas of the fourth age. Gerontology, 49,123-135. DOI: 10.1159/000067946
  10. Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: the exercise of control. New York: Freeman.
  11. Bandura, A. (2000). Autoefficacia. Teorie e applicazioni. Trento: Erikson.
  12. Bergman, L.R., El-Khouri, B.M. (2003). A person-oriented approach: methods for today and methods for tomorrow. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 110, 25-38. DOI: 10.1002/cd.80
  13. Bode, C., de Ridder, D.T.D., & Bensing, J.M. (2007). Preparing for aging: development, feasibility and preliminary results of an educational program for midlife and older based on proactive coping theory. Patient education and counselling, 61, 272-278. DOI: 10.1016/j.pec.2005.04.006
  14. Brandstadter, J. & Renner, G.(1990). Tenacious Goal Pursuit and Flexible Goal Adjustment: Esplication and Age-Related Analysis of Assimilative and Accomodative Strategies of coping. Psychology and Aging, 5(1), 58-67. DOI: 10.1037/0002-9432.74.2.187
  15. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1978). The Ecology of Human Development. Cambridge, M.A.: Harvard University Press.
  16. Camargo, B.V. (2005). ALCESTE: um programa informatico de analise quantitativa de dados textuais. In A.S.P. Moreira, J.C. Jesuino, B.V. Camargo & S.M. Nobrega (Eds.), Perspectivas teorico-metodologicas em representacoes sociais (pp. 511-539). UFPB, JP.
  17. Carstensen, L.L., Isaacowitz, D.H., & Charles, S.T. (1999). Taking time seriously: a theory of socioemotional selectivity. American Psychologist, 54, 165-181. DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.54.3.165
  18. Costa, P.T., & Mc Crae, R.R. (1985). The NEO -Personality Inventory: manual Form S and Form R. Odessa FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.
  19. Cumming, E., & Henry, E. (1961). Growing old: the process of disengagement. New York: Basic Books.
  20. Diener, E., & Fujita, F. (1995). Resources, personal strivings and subjective wellbeing: A nomothetic and idiographic approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 926-935. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.68.5.926
  21. Elder, G.H.jr. (1994). Time, Human Agency and Social Change: perspective on the Life Course, Social Psychology Quarterly, 1, 4-15.
  22. Elder, G.H.jr. (1999). The Life Course and Aging: Some reflections. Paper presented for Distinguished Scholar Lecture Section on Aging American Sociological Association.
  23. Eysenck, H.J., & Eysenck, M.W. (1985). Personality and individual differences, a natural science approach. New York: Plenum. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4613-2413-3
  24. Flick, U., Fisher, C., Neuber, A., Friedrich, W.S., & Walter, U. (2003). Health in the context of growing old: Social Representations of health. Journal of Health Psychology, 8, 539-556. DOI: 10.1177/13591053030085006
  25. Freund, A., Nikitin, J., & Ritter, J.O. (2009). Psychological consequences of longevity. The increasing importance of self-regulation in old age. Human Development, 52, 1-37. DOI: 10.1159/000189213
  26. Freund, A.M., & Baltes, P.B. (2002). Life-management strategies of selection, optimization and compensation: measurement by self-report and construct validity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 642-662. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.82.4642
  27. Gastaldi, A., & Contarello, A. (2006). Una questione di eta: Rappresentazioni Sociali dell'invecchiamento in giovani ed anziani. Ricerche di Psicologia, 20, 7-22.
  28. Gerstorf, D., & Ram, N. (2009). Limitations on the importance of self-regulation in old age, Human Development, 52, 38-43. DOI: 10.1159/000189214
  29. Gerstorf, D., Smith, J., & Baltes, P.B. (2006). A systemic-wholistic approach to differential aging: longitudinal findings from the Berlin Aging Study, Psychology and Aging, 21, 645-663. DOI: 10.1037/0882-7974.21.4.645
  30. Glass, T.A., Seeman, T.E., Herzog, A.R., Kahn, R., & Berkman, L.F. (1995). Change in productive activity in late adulthood: Mac Arthur Studies of Successful Aging. Journal of Gerontology: Social Science, 50(B), S65-S76. DOI: 10.1093/geronb/50b.2.S65
  31. Gollwitzer, P.M. (1996). The volitional benefits of planning. In P.M. Gollwitzer & J.A. Bargh (Eds.), The psychology of action: Linking cognition and motivation to behavior (pp. 287-312). New York: Guilford.
  32. Grossman, I., Naa, J., Varnuma, M.E., Parkb, D.C., Kitayamaa, S., & Nisbett, R. (2010). Reasoning about social conflicts improves into old age. Psychological and Cognitive Sciences, 16, 7246- 7250 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1001715107
  33. Hardy, S.E., Concato, J., & Gill, T.M. (2004). Resilience of Community-Dwelling Older Person. Journal of American Geriatrics Society, 52, 257-262. DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2004.52065.x
  34. Veloz, M.C.T., Nascimento-Schulze, C.M., & Camargo, B.V. (1999). Social Representations of Aging. Psychology Reflection and Critique, 12, 470-501.
  35. Harlow, R.E., & Cantor, N. (1996). Still participating after all these years: a study of life task participation in later life, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 6, 1235-1249. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.71.6.1235
  36. Hatch, S. (2005). Conceptualizing and Identifying Cumulative Adversity and Protective Resources: Implications for Understanding Health Inequalities. Journal of Gerontology, SERIES B, 60b, 130-134. DOI: 10.1093/geronb/60.Special_Issue_2.S130
  37. Havighurst, R.J., & Albrecht, R. (1953). Older People. New York: Longmans Green.
  38. Hobfoll, S.E. (1989). Conservation of resources: A new attempt at conceptualizing stress, American Psychologist, 44, 513-524. DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.44.3.513
  39. Holahan, C.K., & Chapman, J.R. (2002). Longitudinal predictors of proactive goals and activity participation at age 80. Journal of Gerontology: PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE, 5, 418-425. DOI: 10.1093/geronb/57.5.P418
  40. Holman, E.A., & Zimbardo, P.G. (2009). The social language of time: the time perspective-social network connection. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 31, 136-147. DOI: 10.1080/01973530902880415
  41. Jaspars, J., & Fraser, C. (1989). Atteggiamenti e rappresentazioni sociali. In R.M. Farr & S. Moscovici (Eds.), Rappresentazioni sociali. Bologna: il Mulino.
  42. Jones, J.M., Banickly, L., Lasane, T.P., & Pomare, M. (1999). A temporal orientation scale: Focusing attention on past, present and future. Manuscript in preparation, University of Delaware.
  43. Jones, J.M., Banicky, L., Lasane, T.P., & Pomare, M. (2005) A temporal orientation scale: Focusing attention on past, present and future. Unpublished manuscript, University of Delaware, USA.
  44. Jopp, D., & Smith, J. (2006). Resources and life-management strategies as determinants of successful aging: on the protective effect of selection, optimization and compensation (SOC). Psychology and Aging, 21, 253-265. DOI: 10.1037/0882-7974.21.2.253
  45. Joreskog, K.G., & Sorbom, D. (1993). Lisrel 8: User’s Guide. Chicago, IL: Scientific Software International.
  46. Kahana, E., & Kahana, B. (1996). Conceptual and empirical advances in understanding aging well through proactive adaptation. In V.L. Bengtson (ed.), Adulthood and aging. Research on continuities and discontinuities. New York: Springer.
  47. Kahana, E., Kahana, B., & Zjiang, J. (2005). Motivational antecedents of preventive proactivity in late life: Linking future orientation and exercise. Motivation and Emotion, 29, 443-464. DOI: 10.1007/s11031-006-9012-2
  48. Kahana, E., Lawrence, R.H., Kahana, K., Kercher, A., Wisniewski, A., & Stoller, E. (2002). Long-term impact of preventive proactivity on quality of life of the old-old. Psychosomatic Medicine, 64, 382-394.
  49. Keyes, C.L.M. (1998). Social Well-Being, Social Psychology Quarterly, 61, 121-140. DOI: 10.2307/2787065
  50. Labouvie-Vief, G., & Diehl, M. (2000). Cognitive complexity and Cognitive – Affective Integration: related or separate domains of adult development? Psychology and Aging, 15, 490-504. DOI: 10.1037/0882-7974.15.3.490
  51. Lazarus, R., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, Appaisal and Coping. New York: Springer.
  52. Little, B.R. (1989). Personal projects analysis: Trivial pursuits, magnificent obsessions, and the search for coherence. In D. Buss & N. Cantor (Eds.), Personality Psychology: Recent Trends and Emerging Directions (pp. 15-31). New York: Springer-Verlag. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4684-0634-4_2
  53. Magnusson, D. (1995). Individual development: a holistic integrated model. In P. Moen, G.H. Elder, & K. Lusher (Eds), Linking lives and contexts: perspectives on the ecology of human development. Washington D.C: APA Books. DOI: 10.1037/10176-001
  54. Marsiske, M., Lang, F.R., Baltes, P.B., & Baltes, M.M. (1995). Selective optimization with compensation: Life-span perspectives on successful human development. In R.A. Dixon e L. Backman (Eds.), Compensating for psychological deficits and declines: Managing lossess and promoting gains (pp. 35-79). Hillsdale, N.J.: Herlbaum.
  55. Masten, A.S.,& Obradovic’, J. (2006). Competence and resilience in development. Annals of New York Academy of Sciences, 1094, 13-27. DOI: 10.1196/annals.1376.003
  56. Moscovici, S. (1961). La psychanalyse, son image et son public. Paris: PUF.
  57. Moscovici, S. (2000). Social Representations: Explorations in social psychology. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  58. Ouwehand, C., de Ridder T.D.,& Bensing, J.M. (2006). Situational aspects are more important in shaping proactive coping behaviour than individual characteristics: A vignette study among adults preparing for ageing, Psychology and Health, 6, 809-825. DOI: 10.1080/14768320500537639
  59. Ouwehand, C., de Ridder, D.T.D., & Bensing, J.M. (2007). A Review of successful aging models: proposing proactive coping as an important additional strategy. Clinical Psychology Review, 27, 873-884. DOI: 10.1016/j.cpr.2006.11.003
  60. Pinquart, M., & Sorensen, S. (2005). Ethnic differences in stressors, resources and psychological outcomes of family caregiving: a Meta- analysis. Gerontologist, 1, 90-106. DOI: 10.1093/geront/45.1.90
  61. Ryff, C.D. (1989). Beyond Ponce del Leon and life satisfaction: new directions in quest of successful aging. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 1, 35-55. DOI: 10.1177/016502548901200102
  62. Rowe, J.W., & Kahn, R. (1987). Human Aging: usual and successful. Science, 237, 143-149. DOI: 10.1126/science.3299702
  63. Rowe, J.W., & Kahn, R. (1997). Successful Aging. The Gerontologist, 37, 433-440. DOI: 10.1093/geront/37.4.433
  64. Rutter, M. (2002). Nature, nurture and development: from evangelism through science toward policy and practice. Child Development, 1, 1-21.
  65. Schulz, R., & Heckhausen, J. (1996). A Life Span Model of Successful Aging. American Psychologists, 7, 702-714. DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.51.7.702
  66. Schwarzer, R. (2000). Manage stress at work through preventive and proactive coping. In E.A. Locke (ed)., The Blackwell handbook of principles of organizational behavior (pp. 342-355). Oxford: Blackwell.
  67. Schwarzer, R., & Taubert, S. (2002). Tenacious goal pursuit and striving toward personal growth: proactive coping. In E. Fyndenberg (ed.) Beyond coping: meeting goals, visions and challenges (pp. 19-35). London: Oxford University Press.
  68. Seligman, M., & Csikszentmiahlyi, M. (2000). Positive Psychology. American Psychologist, 55, 5-14. DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.5
  69. Staudiger, U.M., Freund, A.M., Linden, M., & Maas, I. (1999). Self, personality and life regulation of psychological resilience in old age. In Karl U. Mayer & Paul B. Baltes (Eds.), The Berlin Aging Study. Cambridge, UK.: Cambridge University Press.
  70. Stevernik, N., & Lindenberg, S. (2006). Which social needs are important for Subjective Well-Being? What happens to them with aging? Psychology and Aging, 2, 281-290. DOI: 10.1037/0882-7974.21.2.281
  71. Stevernik, N., Lindenberg, S., & Slaets, J.P.J. (2005). How to understand and improve older people’s self-management of well-being, European Journal of Ageing, 2, 235-244. DOI: 10.1007/s10433-005-0012-y
  72. Streib, G.F., & Binstock, H.R. (1990). Aging and the Social Science: Changes in the filed. In R.H. Binstock & L.K George (Eds.), Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences. New York: Academic Press.
  73. Verbrugge, L.M., & Jette, A.M. (1994). The disablement process. Social Science & Medicine, 38, 1-14.
  74. Waterman, A. (1993). Two conceptions of happiness: contrasts of personal expressiveness (Eudaimonia) and Hedonic Enjoyment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 678-691. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.64.4.678
  75. Watson, D., Clark, L.A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of a brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 1063-1070. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.54.6.1063
  76. Zambianchi, M., & Ricci Bitti, P.E. (2010a). Influenza delle strategie proattive di coping sul benessere sociale e sulla progettualita di vita nell’anziano. Medicina Psicosomatica, 3, 125.
  77. Zambianchi, M., & Ricci Bitti, P.E. (2010b). Rappresentazioni sociali della salute e dell’invecchiamento in un gruppo di anziani. Psicologia della Salute, 2, 95-110. DOI: 10.3280/PDS2010-002007

Manuela Zambianchi, L’invecchiamento ottimale: una rassegna sui principali modelli teorici e sulle strategie proattive in grado di promuoverlo in "RICERCHE DI PSICOLOGIA " 1/2013, pp 9-43, DOI: 10.3280/RIP2013-01001