Successful vs. Unsuccessful Aging Comparison Essay by Gizzman

Successful vs. Unsuccessful Aging
A comparison of successful and healthy aging as opposed to unsuccessful and unpleasant aging.
# 6650 | 1,840 words | 7 sources | APA | 2002 | US
Published on Feb 08, 2003 in Psychology (Physiological) , Psychology (Social) , Aging (Gerontology)

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This paper defines and clarifies the debate over different types of aging. Starting with the revolutionary work of Havighurst in the late 1960?s and incorporating research from the present day, this paper defines the three central components of aging: physiological, psychological (cognitive), and social. Numerous examples of both successful and unsuccessful aging across all three components are described, and backed by empirical research. No clear "recipe" for successful aging can be given, but this paper is a thorough and modern overview of this facet of psychology as it stands today.

From the Paper:

"In the late 16th century the Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon set out on a quest to discover the fountain of youth. Intruding into uncharted and hostile Indian Territory, de Leon was struck dead by an arrow to his heart, at the age of 47. Today millions of Americans and billions worldwide are experiencing the golden years that evaded De Leon. But does older age necessarily equate to 'golden years'? Since at least the 1960s gerontologists have been developing conceptual frameworks, called schema, to describe ideal outcomes of the aging process. One of the most commonly used terms to describe good old age is "successful aging", often attributed to R.J. Havighurst (1961). This concept lies at the core of the practice of gerontology; the Havighurst article appeared as the first conceptual piece in the first issue of the discipline's prime publication, The Gerontologist. Defining 'successful' aging has been an issue of debate ever since. However, a complete definition must include at least three components: physiological, psychological (or cognitive), and social. It also must be able to be clearly distinguished from the opposite end of the spectrum, namely, 'unsuccessful' aging."

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Successful vs. Unsuccessful Aging (2003, February 08) Retrieved September 30, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Successful vs. Unsuccessful Aging" 08 February 2003. Web. 30 September. 2023. <>