Resources and Life-Management Strategies as Determinants of Successful Aging: On the Protective Effect of Selection, Optimization, and Compensation

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successful aging; resources; selection, optimization, and compensation; SOC life-management strategies


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


In this research, the authors investigated the specific and shared impact of personal resources and selection, optimization, and compensation (SOC) life-management strategies (A. M. Freund & P. B. Baltes, 2002) on subjective well-being. Life-management strategies were expected to be most relevant when resources were constrained, particularly in very old age. In Study 1 (N = 156, 71-91 years), age-differential predictive patterns supported this assumption: Young-old individuals' well-being was predicted independently by resources and SOC, whereas SOC buffered the effect of restricted resources in old-old individuals. Study 2 replicated the findings longitudinally with resource-poor and resource-rich older individuals (N = 42). In both studies, specific SOC strategies were differentially adaptive. Results confirm that resources are important determinants of well-being but that life-management strategies have a considerable protective effect with limited resources.

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APA Citation: Jopp, D. & Smith, J. (2006). Resources and life-management strategies as determinants of successful aging: On the protective effect of selection, optimization, and compensation. Psychology and Aging, 21(2), 253-265.