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. 2014 Feb;54(1):51-8.
doi: 10.1093/geront/gnt073. Epub 2013 Jul 27.

Revisiting Gerontology's Scrapbook: From Metchnikoff to the Spectrum Model of Aging

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Revisiting Gerontology's Scrapbook: From Metchnikoff to the Spectrum Model of Aging

Diane J Martin et al. Gerontologist. .

Abstract

The historical roots of gerontology date to a time when old age was characterized as physical and mental decline. Nonetheless, Metchnikoff questioned the inevitability of this decline, believing that quality of life could be improved by broadening our understanding of the science of aging, a multifaceted concept that extends well beyond the biological science interpretation so prevalent in gerontology's history. This article examines foundational gerontological theories in an effort to unravel complex interactions that constitute physiological aging processes, the psychological manifestations of individual adaptation, and the importance of social and spiritual relationships in aging successfully. Evaluating these theories through an interdisciplinary lens will benefit scholars, researchers, and aging services professionals because it offers opportunities to extend gerontological concepts from theory to development of models that can ultimately be applied in common practice to promote successful aging, regardless of one's physical or cognitive health status. To that end, we propose the Spectrum Model of Aging. Utilizing components of game theory, we believe it offers a synergistic approach to improving quality of later life and thus promises to move the field of gerontology beyond disciplinary boundaries.

Keywords: Game theory; Gerontology; Interdisciplinary; Quality of life; Spectrum model of aging; Spirituality; Successful aging.

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