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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 695854, 8 pages
Research Article

The Older They Are, the Less Successful They Become? Findings from the Georgia Centenarian Study

1Center for Applied Health Research, Scott and White Healthcare, Temple, TX 76508, USA
2School of Rural Public Health, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College Station, TX 77845, USA
3Human Development and Family Studies, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
4Institute of Gerontology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA

Received 5 April 2012; Revised 23 May 2012; Accepted 31 May 2012

Academic Editor: Hiroshi Nose

Copyright © 2012 Jinmyoung Cho et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study examined whether oldest-old adults are successful agers. Three hundred and six octogenarians and centenarians of Phase III of the Georgia Centenarian Study participated in this study. A first model examined Rowe and Kahn’s successful aging model (Rowe and Khan (1997 and 1998)) including the probability of disease, physical or cognitive capacity, and engagement with life. All three components were applied to assess how many oldest-old adults satisfied all three criteria. The result showed about 15% of octogenarians (15.1%), and none of centenarians satisfied all three components of successful aging. Consequently, a second alternative model focused on psychosocial aspects including three different components: subjective health, perceived economic status, and happiness. Different from Rowe and Kahn’s successful aging model, a total of 62.3% of octogenarians and 47.5% of centenarians satisfied all three components of the alternative model of successful aging. The results suggest that additional criteria of successful aging should be considered thereby expanding the concepts and multidimensional aspects of successful aging among oldest-old adults.