ERIC Number: ED303734
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Conceptual Models To Study the Adaptation of the Oldest Old.
In recent years there has been an increased awareness about the growing number of the oldest old. A structural model for the study of the oldest old was introduced by Lehr (1987) and was built on experience with data from the Bonn Longitudinal Study of Aging. In the Lehr model, genetic, environmental, and ecological factors affect longevity directly and indirectly through individual characteristics, such as personality and intelligence. Aspects of nutrition, demographic characteristics, and health status additionally influence longevity in this model. Because the test of a comprehensive model such as the one proposed by Lehr is very complex, it may be more reasonable to first test submodels of longevity before integrating a large number of correlates to longevity. A genetic model relating family longevity to demographic and individual characteristics could be tested as a first step, as could an ecological model emphasizing environmental aspects or a health model highlighting nutritional and health components. Adaptational models have also been proposed, suggesting that aspects of life experiences as they relate to the life-span, appraisal processes of such events, and coping mechanisms might also be added to models on the oldest old. Interdisciplinary research is needed to examine personal characteristics, ecological factors, nutritional aspects, health, and stress variables as they influence the longevity of individuals. (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (96th, Atlanta, GA, August 12-16, 1988).