Table 1: Research propositions to advance knowledge of healthy aging—Adapted from Ryff and Singer [70].

Proposition 1Health promotion processes: positive psychosocial factors predict better biological regulation
Premise: positive health and high levels of well-being are associated with lower morbidity, decreased physical symptoms and pain, increased longevity, increased resistance to illness, decreased stroke incidence, and better glycemic control.

Proposition 2Resilience Processes: positive psychosocial factors protect against the damaging effects of external adversity
Premise: psychological strengths (e.g., personality traits and coping ability) and favourable social situations (e.g., social/family support and high socioeconomic status) are associated with “physiological toughness” and an enhanced ability to maintain a high-level of functioning in the face of adversity.

Proposition 3Recovery and repair processes: Positive psychosocial factors facilitate the regaining of functional and/or biological capacities
Premise: hopeful individuals with optimistic beliefs and positive expectations about their health have better prognosis from heart surgeries, some cancers and HIV/AIDS, and possibly better DNA repair mechanisms.

Proposition 4Compensation processes: psychological or biological strengths can offset the negative health consequences of psychological or biological weaknesses
Premise: psychological distress and adversity can be moderated by positive psychological traits (e.g., coping strategies and affective styles).

Proposition 5Gene expression processes: psychosocial factors as mitigating against the negative and promoting the positive
Premise: many people with genetic susceptibilities to certain diseases never develop them; psychosocial and other environmentallydriven epigenetic factors may modulate genetic susceptibility to disease and gene expression patterns that impact health in aging.