The Comparison of the Biomedical and the Alternative Model of Successful Aging

Neala Ambrosi-Randić, Ivana Tucak Junaković, Marina Nekić


One of the most prominent models of successful aging
(Rowe and Kahn, 1997) is based on three criteria: freedom
from disease, high physical and cognitive functioning, and
active engagement with life. Research has shown that the
application of this model on very old people results in a
substantially decreased number of successful agers. So
recent studies are oriented toward finding alternative criteria
in order to extend the concept of successful aging and make
it more applicable on the very old. Using data collected on a
sample of 479 older subjects, 60 to 95 years old, we
compared two models of successful aging, namely the
biomedical and the alternative model (the latter using the
following criteria: good subjective health, perception of good
financial status and high level of happiness). The criteria of
the alternative model were met by 19.4 % of the older
subjects, while the application of the criteria of Rowe and
Kahn’s model resulted in a substantially lower percentage of
successful agers (7.9 %) in the same sample. In the next step
of the analysis, we compared two extreme groups (successful
and unsuccessful agers), finding out that there were no
significant age and sex differences 537 between them.
Nevertheless, the successful group scored significantly higher on
the self-rated successful aging, optimism, and generativity
scales. The results of the study indicate the continued need to
consider the criteria of successful aging in order to make this
construct more applicable and utilizable.


successful aging; health; models

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Copyright (c) 2018 Neala Ambrosi-Randić, Ivana Tucak Junaković, Marina Nekić

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