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Associations of self-perceived successful aging in young-old versus old-old adults

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The aim of this research was to compare associations of self-perceived successful aging (SPSA) among Young-Old (Y-O; age 50-74 years) versus Old-Old (O-O; 75-99 years) community-dwelling adults. To our knowledge, this is the first study to compare respondents' self-perceptions of successful aging among O-O relative to Y-O adults.


Participants included 365 Y-O and 641 O-O adults. The two age groups were compared in terms of the association of SPSA with other preselected measures including sociodemographic information, physical and mental functioning, objective and subjective cognitive functioning, emotional health, and positive psychological constructs.


The O-O group reported higher levels of SPSA than the Y-O group. In multiple regression modeling examining predictors of SPSA in each group, there was a tendency toward lower associations in the O-O group overall. Most notably, the associations between physical and mental functioning with SPSA were significantly lower in the O-O versus Y-O group. There were no associations with SPSA that were significantly higher in the O-O versus Y-O group.


The lower predictive power of physical and mental functioning on SPSA among O-O relative to Y-O adults is particularly noteworthy. It is apparent that SPSA is a multidimensional construct that cannot be defined by physical functioning alone. Continuing to clarify the underlying factors impacting SPSA between groups may inform tailored interventions to promote successful aging in Y-O and O-O adults.

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