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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica
On-line version ISSN 1678-7153
CUPERTINO, Ana Paula Fabrino Bretas; ROSA, Fernanda Heringer Moreira and RIBEIRO, Pricila Cristina Correa. Successful aging definition in a sample of older adults. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 2007, vol.20, n.1, pp. 81-86. ISSN 1678-7153. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-79722007000100011.
The process of aging is defined as a multidimensional process (Baltes e Baltes, 1990). Rowe and Kahn (1998) present three indicators of successful aging: low risk of disease and disease-related disabilities; high level of mental and physical functions and an active life style. Based on these presumptions, this article presents a research that examined the definition of successful aging from a sample of older adults, seeking to identify the multiple dimensions perceived by them. The sample consisted of 501 older adults between 60 to 93 years old (M=72,65; SD= 8,08). Content analysis of their answers to what successful aging means identified 29 possible categories. The most cited definitions for successful aging were: physical health, social health and emotional health. On the other hand, the least cited answers were: a life of work; aging as a pathological process and specific activities for older adults. In conclusion, this study confirmed the presumptions of heterogeneity and multidimensionality of aging, by observing the various definitions from older adults.
Keywords : Successful aging; qualitative analysis; multidimensionality.