Psychosocial aspects of successful ageing and resilience: critique, integration and implications.
Category: Journal Articles
As the number of older adults increases worldwide, it is becoming increasingly important to find effective ways of fostering better ageing trajectories. The models used to shape this process inform research, policy and practice and impact older adults themselves. Two important ageing models are successful ageing (SA) and resilience (RES). Aligning the conceptual framework in research contexts with those of older adults’ perspectives is an integral component of driving forward the research agenda in a manner that has the greatest potential to benefit older adults. Studies conducted with laypersons indicate that psychosocial components are important components of successful ageing models; therefore, it is imperative that these non-biomedical components are incorporated. There are many similarities between SA and RES models, but an important distinguishing feature is the incorporation of adversity into conceptualizations of resilience. SA models suggest high levels of functioning as a requirement for ageing successfully, regardless of the circumstances the individual experiences; resilience models take into account the level of adversity being experienced by the individual. Individuals can demonstrate RES by having a more positive outcome than would be expected given their level of adversity. The incorporation of psychosocial constructs into SA models and the integration of SA and RES paradigms has important implications for research and for older adults themselves. Through the promotion of models of ageing that include psychosocial components and elements of adversity, greater generalizability to a broader population is possible with enhanced potential for research derived from these efforts to more positively influence individuals’ trajectories of ageing.
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