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Successful Aging as Management of Resources: The Role of Selection, Optimization, and Compensation

Successful Aging as Management of Resources: The Role of Selection, Optimization, and Compensation One of the central tenets of life-span psychology is that the process of development entails gains and losses that occur over the entire life span. Thus, Paul and Margret Baltes (1990) conceptualized successful aging as a lifelong process of maximizing gains and minimizing losses by means of three processes: selection, optimization, and compensation (SOC). This article reviews empirical studies that have investigated the use of SOC during adulthood with different methodological approaches and have found evidence for the importance of SOC for successfully managing one's resources. The article highlights the importance of prioritizing goals (selection) according to their importance for increasing gains (optimization) and avoiding losses (compensation) in consideration of currently available resources. Age-related changes in resource availability and time perspective can also result in a shift in goal orientation towards gains or losses and in goal focus on the process or the outcome of goal pursuit. Taken together, the action-theoretical approach to the SOC framework suggests that selection, optimization, and compensation can be seen as key concepts for understanding successful aging. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Research in Human Development Taylor & Francis

Successful Aging as Management of Resources: The Role of Selection, Optimization, and Compensation

Research in Human Development , Volume 5 (2): 13 – May 21, 2008
13 pages

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References (56)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1542-7617
eISSN
1542-7609
DOI
10.1080/15427600802034827
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

One of the central tenets of life-span psychology is that the process of development entails gains and losses that occur over the entire life span. Thus, Paul and Margret Baltes (1990) conceptualized successful aging as a lifelong process of maximizing gains and minimizing losses by means of three processes: selection, optimization, and compensation (SOC). This article reviews empirical studies that have investigated the use of SOC during adulthood with different methodological approaches and have found evidence for the importance of SOC for successfully managing one's resources. The article highlights the importance of prioritizing goals (selection) according to their importance for increasing gains (optimization) and avoiding losses (compensation) in consideration of currently available resources. Age-related changes in resource availability and time perspective can also result in a shift in goal orientation towards gains or losses and in goal focus on the process or the outcome of goal pursuit. Taken together, the action-theoretical approach to the SOC framework suggests that selection, optimization, and compensation can be seen as key concepts for understanding successful aging.

Journal

Research in Human DevelopmentTaylor & Francis

Published: May 21, 2008

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