A systemic-wholistic approach to differential aging: Longitudinal findings from the Berlin Aging Study

Denis Gerstorf, Jacqui Smith, Paul B. Baltes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

Wholistic perspectives on differential change focus on multiple-indicator information at a person level. They supplement the modeling of average trajectories at a variable level. The authors extended cross-sectional work in the Berlin Aging Study (J. Smith & P. B. Baltes, 1997) to 6-year longitudinal cluster analyses (n = 132). At baseline, 3 subgroups were identified with distinct within-person psychological profiles across cognitive, personality, and social integration constructs. Over time, highly similar subgroup profiles were found, and about two thirds of the participants could be classified as remaining in the same subgroups. Baseline subgroups differed in level and slope of change and in 2 outcomes, well-being and mortality. Independent of subgroup membership, subgroup-to-subgroup change was associated with greater decline and predicted poststudy mortality. These findings demonstrate the usefulness of a wholistic approach for long-term prediction of outcomes and within-person systemic variability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-663
Number of pages19
JournalPsychology and aging
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A systemic-wholistic approach to differential aging: Longitudinal findings from the Berlin Aging Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this