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Investigating Discontinuity of Age Relations in Cognitive Functioning, General Health Status, Activity Participation, and Life Satisfaction between Young-Old and Old-Old Age

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Department of Psychology, University of Geneva, Boulevard du Pont d’Arve 40, Geneva CH-1211, Switzerland
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Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Gerontology and Vulnerability, University of Geneva, route des Acacias 54, Carouge CH-1227, Switzerland
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Department of Psychology, University of Lausanne, Geopolis Buildin, Lausanne CH-1015, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1092; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111092
Received: 22 September 2016 / Revised: 27 October 2016 / Accepted: 3 November 2016 / Published: 5 November 2016
Health research suggests that findings on young-old adults cannot be generalized to old-old adults and thus that old-old age seems not a simple continuation of young-old age due to qualitative changes that result in a discontinuity in old age. Specifically, it would be of conceptual and methodological importance to inform research regarding estimates around which chronological age the beginning of old-old age could be placed at a population level, and whether this is universal or domain-specific. To derive such criteria, we investigated potential discontinuity of age relations between young-old and old-old age in a large population-based sample considering measures in different domains (processing speed, verbal abilities, general health status, activity participation, and life satisfaction). For processing speed, verbal abilities, general health status, and life satisfaction we observed some very small indication that there might be a discontinuity of age relations at the end of individuals’ eighties, and for activity participation already at the beginning of individuals’ eighties. In conclusion, models conceptualizing aging as a gradual development might not suffice to adequately represent the differences between the stages of young-old and old-old age due to some very small indication that there might be discontinuity in late adulthood. View Full-Text
Keywords: young-old adults versus old-old adults; cognition; health; activity participation; life satisfaction young-old adults versus old-old adults; cognition; health; activity participation; life satisfaction
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Ihle, A.; Jopp, D.S.; Oris, M.; Fagot, D.; Kliegel, M. Investigating Discontinuity of Age Relations in Cognitive Functioning, General Health Status, Activity Participation, and Life Satisfaction between Young-Old and Old-Old Age. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 1092.

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