Comparison of the Rowe-Kahn model of successful aging with self-rated health and life satisfaction: the West of Scotland Twenty-07 Prospective Cohort Study

Whitley, E. , Popham, F. and Benzeval, M. (2016) Comparison of the Rowe-Kahn model of successful aging with self-rated health and life satisfaction: the West of Scotland Twenty-07 Prospective Cohort Study. Gerontologist, 56(6), pp. 1082-1092. (doi: 10.1093/geront/gnv054) (PMID:26970606) (PMCID:PMC5181386)

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Purpose of the Study: With increasing longevity in industrialized populations, there is growing interest in what defines “successful aging” (SA). Various SA measures have been proposed but no consensus has been reached and many have been criticized for not representing the views and priorities of older people. We consider whether the Rowe–Kahn SA model captures older individual’s perceptions of their own health and aging. Methods: Using two cohorts of 886 and 483 men and women from the West of Scotland Twenty-07 Study, aged around 57 and 76, respectively, we explored associations between Rowe–Kahn SA dimensions (absence of disease/disability; good physical/cognitive functioning; good interpersonal/productive social engagement) and four aspects of self-rated health and satisfaction (current general health; health for age; satisfaction with health; satisfaction with life). Results: Respondents’ self-rated health and satisfaction was generally good but few had all six Rowe–Kahn dimensions positive, the conventional definition of SA. All individual positive SA dimensions were associated with better self-rated health and satisfaction. This was consistent across age, gender, manual/nonmanual occupations, and personality. The prevalence of good self-rated health and satisfaction increased with increasing numbers of positive SA dimensions. Implications: The Rowe–Kahn model provides a functional definition of SA. Future work on ageing should include all Rowe–Kahn dimensions and consider SA as a continuum.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Popham, Dr Frank and Whitley, Dr Elise and Benzeval, Dr Michaela
Authors: Whitley, E., Popham, F., and Benzeval, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Gerontologist
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1758-5341
Published Online:12 March 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Gerontologist 56(6): 1082-1092
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
656621Social Patterning of Health over the LifecourseTimothy PophamMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/7IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
727651SPHSU Core Renewal: Measuring and Analysing Socioeconomic Inequalities in Health Research ProgrammeAlastair LeylandMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/13IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU