ERIC Number: ED056346
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1971
Development, Drop, and Death.
Riegel, Klaus F.; Riegel, Ruth M.
Inadequacies in most life-span developmental studies are emphasized. A typical cross-sectional comparison of a sample of older adults' performances on a battery of measures revealed that non-surviving subjects and those who refused to be retested 5 and 10 years later scored consistently below retestees. These results point to a heterogeneity in the aging population and to biases in the sampling process, and suggest the need to define the population more specifically. Analysis of scores by going backwards in age starting with the time of death suggests the occurrence of lower limits in performance. Decline with age is attributed to a sudden drop in performance occurring within 5 years prior to subjects' deaths (terminal drop). Throughout adulthood, performances of long-term survivors are unchanged. The decline with age usually observed is attributed to the increasing number of subjects exhibiting terminal drops. The authors conclude that such psychological data, which indicate changing conditions of the biological organism, must be analyzed with regard to changing societal conditions. (TL)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor.