Despite the undeniable physical, psychological, and social effects of aging, most older persons cope quite well and find considerable satisfaction in their later years. Part of the explanation for this finding is based on what Robert C. Atchley calls continuitythe ability of older persons to maintain a strong sense of purpose and self in the face of the changes associated with aging. Continuity can help individuals evolve psychologically and socially in the presence of life events such as retirement, widowhood, and physical disability.
Atchley begins with a thorough explanation of continuity theory, identifying important methodological considerations in its evaluation and use. He then looks at evidence for continuity over time in the ways individuals interpret their experiences and make decisions regarding their living arrangements and lifestyles. He examines continuity as a personal goal that most people use to guide their development as individuals. Atchley finds that many aging adults add transcendence as a personal goal in later adulthood. In a concluding chapter, he revisits the basic elements of continuity theory, summarizing the evidence that supports it.
Drawing on data from a twenty-year longitudinal study that began with more than 1,200 individuals, Continuity and Adaptation in Aging explains one of the primary underlying forces that promotes effective adaptation to the aging process. This book will be of interest to researchers and students in gerontology and adult development.
|Publisher:||Johns Hopkins University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.56(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Robert C. Atchley is a professor and chair of the Department of Gerontology at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado.
Table of Contents
How Did Continuity Theory Arise?
Continuity Theory as Theory
Elements of Continuity Theory
Development versus Aging in Later Adulthood
Continuity of the Self
Beliefs about the Effects of Retirement
Living Arrangements, Household Composition,and Marital Status
Modes of Transportation
Patterns of Activity: Stability, Continuity, and Change over Time
How Activities Fit Together to Form
Proactive Coping and Motivation for Continuity
How Did Respondents Cope?
Coping with Specific Changes: Retirement, Widowhood, and Functional Limitations
Functional Limitation and the Self
Patterns of Coping withFunctional Limitations
General Patterns of Adaptation
Factors Linked to Negative Outcomes in Later Life
Goals for Developmental Direction
Continuity of Personal Goals
Disposition toward Continuity
The Theory of Gerotranscendence
The Study of Goals for Developmental
Direction in Later Life
Assessing Continuity Theory
Evidence on the Assumptions and Propositions of Continuity Theory
Continuity Strategies Are Generally Effective
Methodological Issues Related to the Study of Continuity Theory
Future Research Using Continuity Theory Appendixes
B. The Ohio Longitudinal Study of Aging and Adaptation
C. The 1995 Study Questionnaire
D. Worksheets Used to Examine Longitudinal Patterns