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Aging and culture: Implications for well-being

Ashman, O. (2009) Aging and culture: Implications for well-being. In: Benninghouse, H.T and Rosset, A.G., (eds.) Women and Aging: New Research. Nova Science Publishers, Inc., New York, pp. 577-596.


"Inevitably", individuals in society automatically associate aging with declining health and overall deleterious consequences. Research to date has demonstrated predominance and automaticity of negative views of aging in Western society vis-à-vis a significant increase in the average lifespan. This dramatic increase is most often attributed to the latest developments and innovations in medical technologies. However, studies reveal that psychological as well as behavioral factors may also affect health and longevity. Individuals are living longer, yet they must operate within a society fraught with ageism and negative stereotypes of aging. This chapter examines how culture influences the aging individual in terms of cognition, motivation, behavior, and health. Issues explored include whether age-related declines are inevitable both physically and cognitively and whether culture can act as a buffer, thereby attenuating the detrimental effects of aging. The chapter presents a discussion on aging and subsequent health implications with an emphasis on lifespan development and social cognition. Highly salient issues such as advance-directives, self-concept, and control are examined across the lifespan.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology
Publisher: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Copyright: © 2009 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
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