state-wide referral system within the aging service network commonly known as Area Agencies on Aging

Accentuation principle

life course principle that states the strength of interconnection between early life events and current developmental outcomes is dependent upon the availability and use of psychosocial resources.

Activity Theory

theoretical assumption that holds disengagement as a development pathway by which the older individuals pursue increased life activities that may have been put on-hold or never attempted earlier in one’s human life course

Adaptive capacity

Ability to achieve a higher level of everyday functioning for continued developmental growth or gains


individual developmental experience linked to chronology

Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967

established the prohibition of employment discrimination against persons 40 years of age and older

Age-as-a-Leveler Hypothesis

notion that regardless of status as persons reach older adulthood they are viewed negatively and held in low esteem by those who are younger in society

Age-Stage Principle

life course principle that maintains that the age and stage during which individuals encounter certain life events create differential trajectories and patterns in human development


set of beliefs, attitudes, social institutions, and acts that denigrate individuals on the basis of chronological age

Agentic generativity

internally oriented and self-affirming behaviors contributing to satisfaction that one’s life and/or work will outlive the self


refers to advanced glycation end products which result from the binding of proteins with glucose molecules in the presence of oxygen

Aging Clock Theory

concept of a biological “timed” death whereby gradual decline in biological function and health reflects a sequential process due to the counting down of external factors

Aging Network Structure

formal aging service providers that operate as non-profit and/or state and federally funded entities that create a network of accessible and available services


ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably regardless of age, income, or ability level


Inability to recognize familiar objects or experiences


fear or avoidance of places or social situations which contribute to feelings of helplessness, embarrassment, or feeling trapped

Alzheimer’s Disease

most common form of dementia involving progressive loss of cognitive functioning and notable structural changes involving neurofibrillary tangles, amyloid plaques, and brain atrophy

Anticipatory support

perception of having reliable and dependence social relationship form which to gain support when challenged by expected and unexpected stressors.


inability to understand or produce language

Appraised well-being

refers to the reflection and assignment of positive or negative meaning to everyday emotional experiences resulting from daily engagement in life.


Impaired ability to carry out or engage in coordinated motor movements

Assistive technologies

basic tools, instruments, or technologies used to enhance everyday functioning while conducting activities-of-daily living.

Autoimmune Theory of Aging

theoretical notion that human aging results in the accumulation of anti-bodies (B-cells) which attack and destroy normal cells in the body


progressive deficiency in the human body’s immunity to respond and tolerate disease that occurs with increasing age

Avoidant coping

response to an external stressor when the individual may reject or deny that the stressor exists thereby resulting in a delay to a solution, self-isolation from others, or indulgence in negative behaviors like alcohol or drug use to cope.


help produce anti-bodies which help fight infection or infectious agents in the body

Balance Theory of Wisdom

Sternberg’s theoretical conceptualization of wisdom whereby three interconnected processes including interest, the environment, and time contribute an application of knowledge toward the common good

Berlin Wisdom Model

theoretical model which view wisdom as a complex and dynamic system of expert knowledge that contributes to sound judgment and advice concerning life matters

Big-5 Personality Model

model of personality which proposes five key sex and genetically stable personality types including Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism

Biopsychosocial model

Framework for studying human aging and development across three sources including physical, mental, and social wellness

Blurred retirement

exiting and reentering the labor force multiple times before a final decision to formally retire occurs.


social rules of engagement which help persons determine who stays and who belongs within their social network of relationships as they age

Bottom-up SWB

life judgements based on aggregate and cumulative assessment of objective life conditions and domains such as work, finances, marriage, etc.

Bridge retirement

retirement experience in which the individual elects to work in a different occupation or returns to work on a limited hourly basis within the same organization or on a completely different or new project.


linkages between acquaintance and strangers external to one’s normative social network members which can serve to expand or decrease social network membership

Broken-heart syndrome

another term for stress-induced cardiomyopathy which agitates underlying or pre-existing cardio-vascular or other health problems that contribute to premature death in the aftermath of surviving the death of a spouse or other close romantic partnership

Career Recycling

refers to a change in career or vocational choice by which persons respond to labor force demands or trends by exiting work and reentering work while returning to school for advanced training or attending training workshops aimed exposing workers to new skills.

Caregiver burden

Appraisal and feeling of strain from providing care to someone who is chronically ill, disabled, or older which may evolves from physical, psychological, or socio-economic demand and obligation

Caregiver burnout

State of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion resulting in a shift in attitude, interest, or mood in which the caregiver starts to feels negative or uninterested and demonstrates a lack of concern

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)

progressive degenerative brain disease, common among persons with a history of playing contact sports or repetitive brain trauma, that mimics dementia-like symptoms such as memory loss, poor attention and focus, and impulsive decision-making


the timing and pattern of events and transitions that unfold within the cultural environment in historical time.

Cognitive reserve

idea that mentally stimulating work activities and environments improves neural resources and brain plasticity which provides “leftover” necessary to protect against cognitive decline.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

therapeutic interventions used to treat and help aging adults overcome mental health issues linked to substance abuse, depression, pain, anxiety, or sleep disturbances in which persons engage in meditative or mindfulness practices, as well as problem-solving and reminiscence or life review therapies.


collectively and socially shared experiences with those born at or around the same birth year.

Communal generativity

externally or community-oriented behaviors involving social engagement as a way of ensuring that one’s life and work will outlive the self

Compassion fatigue

State of physical, mental, and social exhaustion resulting from a prolonged caregiving exposure, situation, or demand and contributing to secondary traumatic stress


Human adaption or resilience as noted through the awareness and recognition of developmental loss, adjustment of incongruent goals to in relation to loss, and timing and use of resources to meet expected goals in the presence of loss


appraisal of satisfaction in life as it relates to events and experiences of the past

Consequential stranger

socially embedded acquaintances often in the form of a one-time chance encounter which can impact social network development across the life-span

Content plateau

refers to persons who no longer view work as challenging and thus elect not to engage in behaviors that will advance their skills or opportunity for advancement


Stable and embedded continuum of development

Continuity Theory

theoretical notion that developmental behaviors in later adulthood are an expression of one’s core personality attributes

Continuum of Care

the coordination of care and web of services during the end stages of life that include independent or preventive services, assisted or long-term care, and end-of-life planning and care

Correspondence principle

principle that hypothesizes that individual personality and environment experiences are linked to the extent that personality generally corresponds to the environments or conditions in which persons choose to work, socialize, or spend time alone.

Crisp retirement

retirement viewed as a one-time and clear exit experience that is irreversible


a biological process by which proteins bind with glucose molecules in the presence of oxygen which results in collagen fibrils often noticeable in symptomatic features of aging such as skin and nail discoloration, enlarged appearance of the nose and ears, stiffness of joints and cartilage, and reduced renal functioning.


cognitive model that posits the compensation within the brain is not limited to particular region, rather compensatory processes vary with task demand.

Culture compensation

Concept that the older the person; the greater is their need for  supportive cultural resources for continued functioning

Cycle of control

life course principle that maintains that human life course development involves both internal (within-person) and external (between-others) processes of control relative to the individual trajectory of development


short-term memory impairment that is progressive but reversible and usually more indicative of some external factor such as stress, mood disturbance, anxiety, or counteracting medication.

Depletion Syndrome

referred to as “sadness without depression” which primarily impacts person age 80 and older whereby they complain of mental fatigue, express lack of interest in daily activities, and feel activity requires effort; yet they do not express discontent or despair in life.

Developmental Adaptation Model

Theoretical model emphasizing the interconnection between distal or early childhood development and proximal or development present experiences and psychosocial resource use as essential for individual coping strategies and late-life development

developmental maturation

The process by which humans change, grow, and development across the life-span

Digital divide

variation in the adoption and continued use of new technologies often observed through discontinued use of technology among older adults compared to those who are younger


Age/stage developmental progression


Assumption that human development unfolds within an age-stage orientation

Disenchantment period

phase of retirement in which one experiences a disruption or decline in retirement activities

Disengagement Theory

theoretical assumption suggesting that it is socially expected and developmentally normative for individuals to withdraw or disengage from typical social roles in late adulthood


ego defense mechanism common during middle adulthood in which the individual transfers negative feelings and emotions from one person or thing to another; often times revealed through repression or forgetting about the negative feeling or emotion or formation of reactions to thoughts or feelings one considers unacceptable


process or pattern of being in a sad mood state or experiencing sadness


a short-term or mild disturbance or mood that can be observed but not verified through clinical testing as last more than two weeks


refers to electronic health devices and records used to monitor self-care, implement telehealth interventions, and collect, managing and analyze data in the care of aging individuals

Ecological model of development

established by Brofrenbrenner who theorized that individual human development, beginning in childhood and across the life-span, is embedded within five systems: the microsystems, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem, and chronosystem.


Self-awareness integrated within one’s persona, life pursuits, and perceived realities

Emotion-focused coping

response to and external stressor in which the individual aims to understand their own emotional reactions in order to feel better especially when the stressor cannot be changed

Emotional loneliness

lack of an emotionally fulfilling or close romantic relationship that they individual would like to have but does not

Environmental press

degree to which an individual demonstrates competence and mastery within their living environment relative to an ability to achieve maximum comfort and performance potential given available resources.

Epigenetic principle

Assertion that human development is genetically predetermined relative to sequential timing, alterations, and interaction with the socio-cultural context

Error catastrophe

the theoretical assumption that biological aging results from the accumulation of errors, which reach catastrophic levels, pertaining to normative cellular functioning and reproduction necessary to protect against disease and genetic mutations

Executive functioning disturbance

impaired ability to plan, organize, sequence, or execute daily activities of living


system involving cross-over effects in which the social experiences of someone else (e.g. parent who interacts with a co-worker outside the home) carryover and act as agent(s) (e.g. parent-work) influences of individual developmental change or stability.

Experiential well-being

refers to the regulation and management of satisfying and dissatisfying emotions resulting from daily engagement in life

Explicit (objective) wisdom

wisdom as an attribute of personality involving thinking, interpreting, or managing the challenges and issues of life

Extrapersonal interests

competing interests imposed by something other than the person

Extrinsic vocational satisfaction

external motivations of job satisfaction that accompany work but are not central to one’s appraisal or meaning of work itself such as salary, work conditions, and work climate/environment

Family solidarity

sense of closeness and obligation family members maintain in the form of association, affect, consensus, function, norms, and structure.

Filial obligation

Sense of duty to support, respect, and use time and resources in order to assist those who may be older and frail

Filial piety

Virtue of respect toward one’s parent or older family members often demonstrated though service to one’s own parents


term used to describe the intrinsic optimizing of everyday life experience in which persons have a clear sense of control over life goals, a transformed sense of time, and perception of balance between the challenges of life and the resources needed to meet those challenges.

Formal caregiver

A paid care provider typically trained to provide or perform general or specialized care

Fourth Age

Refers to the development of persons 85 years and older

FOXO gene

referred to as the “longevity gene”

FOXO Gene Theory

the theoretical view that a set of genes known as FOXO operate to control the onset, rate, and progression of cell division and death.

FOXO3A gene

genetic variation of the FOXO gene grouping associated with lower prevalence of common age-associated diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and dementia.

Free radical

also known a pro-oxidants which rob cells of energy and contribute to the deterioration and eroding of the cell membrane


relationship between non-blood related individuals formed around similar qualities and maintained through reciprocal exchange of support

Functional Aging Network

instrumental and informal community-based services designed to provide older adults with daily instrumental task such as shopping, cooking, eating, and transportation.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

general restlessness or uneasiness whereby one consistently expresses worry or apprehension over minor problems

Generative action

Pursuit of socially engaged activities with the next generation such as creativity, learning, or teaching/mentoring

Generative commitment

Goal-driven behaviors and actions to demonstrate care for the next or future generation

Generative concern

demonstrating a sense of interest, care, and concern toward the next or future generation(s)


Discipline of study or approach that views aging as a “disease” that can be can be “prevented,” “delayed,” or “cured” through medical means of intervention(s)”


Study of aging as it relates to product design and development, human-machine interaction, and the use of technologies to monitor or support the biopsychosocial functioning and well-being of older adults

Gerontological imagination

A contemporary integrative paradigm that relies on use of interdisciplinary inquiry to understand human aging processes


Discipline of study or approach that views aging viewed as a “process” involving the interplay between physical, mental, and social processes


Developmental outcome in very late life whereby persons experience an altered perception of time, decreased self-centeredness, and reduced interest in material possessions and superficial social relations

Gompertz Equation

a statistical equation specifically used to understand programming timing of survival and death within individuals, as well as the exponential component(s) of mortality risks between persons or populations

Gray divorce

divorce that occur among adults after age 50

Happiness formula

the sum of dividing what has been attained by what is aspired


Hemispheric Asymmetry Reduction in Older Adults Model which proposes that under similar conditions prefrontal activity during cognitive tasks is less lateralized across opposite hemispheres in older adults than younger adult with normative age-associated losses in cognitive functioning

Hayflick Limit

also referred to as “replicative senescence which suggest that normal human fetal cells have the ability to divide and replicate approximately 40-60 time before death

Hoarding Disorder

a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder often linked to indecisiveness, perfectionism, avoidant coping, and social attachment loss in which the individual engages in excessive acquisition and accumulation of material objects and a persistent struggle to dispose of material objects regardless of value.

Hollands Vocation Development (RIASEC) Model

conceptual model of underlying vocations use to explain patterns of vocational preference and development persons derive based on interests stemming from idea and creativity formation, working with people, using data, and knowledge about things.

Honeymoon period

phase of retirement during which one officially exits the workforce and engages in doing things they may never had time to do.

Hospital Without Walls

Federally support program designed to provide traditional hospital services through in-home monitoring of designated acute conditions as a way to minimize exposure to infectious or debilitating disease

Human agency

individual motivation and will to act, make decisions, and seek control over meeting personal goals across the course of life.

Humanistic gerontology

the study of aging that considers individual perspectives and cultural meanings within narratives focused on the human aging experience;

Identify assimilation

Adoption of an inner self-narrative in which the older adult engages in ego defense mechanisms and self-preservation of a positive identity in response to age-associated changes or threshold experiences

Identify Status Theory

theory of identify created by Marcia which proposes four identify processes across adult development including: commitment, exploration, lack of commitment, and no exploration.

Identity accommodation

Adoption of more negative inner self narrative in which the older adult synchronizes their view of identity to fit the perception or definitions of others in response to age-associated changes or threshold experiences

Identity achievement

part of the adult selfing process in which the individual introspectively has a high commitment toward understanding identity discovery and building through an exploration of concrete life goals, gender roles, and accepted alternative notions of “self.”

Identity balance

Adoption of positive coping responses to age-associated changes and threshold experiences in which the older adult modifies and develops a stable view of self to sustain a sense of ego-integrity.

Identity diffusion

part of the self process in which the individual does not have a clear sense of self and or refuses to give serious thought toward exploring or committing to a particular self-identity.

Identity Foreclosure

part of the adult selfing process in which the individual is fully committed to a status-quo identity and has no intention of further exploring or discovery an alternative “self.”

Identity Moratorium

part of the adult selfing process in which the individual is actively exploring and adjusting life goals but lacks commitment toward establishing an identity based on what is desired in life

Identity Process Theory

theory of identity proposed by Whitbourne which assumes positive and negative changes in self-concept and identity are influenced by normative aging changes or threshold experiences

Implicit (subjective) wisdom

wisdom as a characteristic of empathy/compassion, reflection and introspection, and cognitive and intellectual abilities

Informal caregiver

Unpaid individual of family member who directly assists a care recipient in meeting activities-of-daily living needs and basic medical tasks

Inoculation Hypothesis

the idea that older adults representing racial and ethnic minority groups become immune to the effects of ageism due to lifelong exposure to discrimination, prejudice, and stereotyping


Between persons or across groups or populations of people

Interpersonal interests

competing interests among or between groups of individuals


Within the individual persons

Intrapersonal interests

competing interests within the individual

Intrinsic vocational satisfaction

internal sources of job satisfaction which allows the individual to maintain a stable sense of identity and control over their work and job tasks

Late On-set Depression

mild to moderate form of depressive symptoms observable among persons after age 60

Late On-Set Stress Symptomology (LOSS)

PTSD symptoms that linger into later adulthood and are triggered by stressors linked to normative human age-associated changes in physical, cognitive, and social health

Levinson’s model of life structure

model developed which assumes that development between early, middle, and late adulthood is structured around transitionary periods rather than crises.

Lewy body dementia

dementia type involving fluctuating cognitive deficits involving periods of notable confusion, disorientation, and visual hallucinations

Life Pathways Model

model description of routes persons normatively select through adulthood to achieve their goals including the straight and narrow, meandering, authenticity, triumph, and the downward slope.

Linked-lives principle

life course principle that maintains that individual human development is directed and influenced by core group of persons with whom the individual is affiliated starting at birth

Living Apart Together

an emotionally intimate relationship among middle aged and older couples who demonstrate commitment but live separately by choice or preference to maintain personal autonomy


social relationships with other people that are not meeting the individual’s social and emotional expectations


the cultural context and system in which the individual lives relative to customs, rituals, beliefs, ideologies, and policies.


Potential to maintain basic levels of everyday functioning in the presence of on-going developmental losses

Major (Clinical) Depression

diagnosable and symptom based mood disturbance in which the person is observed and verifiably tested to have a depressed mood and lack of interest in addition to four or more symptoms across a two week period.

Memory loss

inability to learn, retain, or recall previously learned information


system of social internconnections between members within the individual’s immediate social environment and those within other social institutions (e.g., local businesses, school, church, etc.)


system consisting of persons within one’s immediate environment(s) who the individual has direct interaction including family, friends, and neighbors.

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

mild cognitive disturbances which impact one or more cognitive domains, such as short/long-term memory, language, or planning, yet the individual is still able to perform normal activities of daily living with little to no assistance

Modernization Theory

theoretical notion that increasing urbanization, advanced social policies, and innovative technological advancements reduces the value and relevance of older adults as contributing members of society

Mood disorder

noticeable change or disturbance in emotional expression or behavior

Multiple Jeopardy Hypothesis

intersectionality of more than one socially-defined status, such as age, gender, race, or SES, by which bias and discriminatory practices are held against older adults

Ninth Stage

Psychosocial concept of development after age 90 in which persons strive to remain interdependent rather than dependent on others

Normative aging

aging with expected and anticipated losses with various levels of functioning and performance


Facts, quantitative counts, or input/outputs


Developmental history across the biological, psychological, and socio-cultural lifetime of the human organism and species

Optimal aging

Age-related changes contributing to gains or improvements in functioning


Efficacy of practice or rehearsal to attain or sustain desired goal(s) of everyday functioning

Oxidative Stress Theory

also known as the Free Radical Theory which involves the loss of an electron which creates a molecular imbalance and chain reaction leading to the erosion of the cell membrane and process of oxidative damage

Panic disorder

stress-triggered anxiety in which persons experience physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, increased heartrate, and an irrational belief that death is imminent.

Parkinson’s Disease

dementia type involving unintended and uncontrollable neurocognitive motor disturbances such as shaking, tremors, poor balance, and inability to coordinate motor movements


the historical unfolding and timing of human experience and life events.

Person-environment correspondence theory

theory that assumes the aging worker will feel more satisfied and view work as a source of meaning when workplaces respond to their needs rather than their interests.


Ability of to react internally to various external stimuli or environmental interactions

Plasticity ratio

Difference between the expected proportion of developmental gains versus losses experienced


simultaneous use of two or more prescribed and/or over-the-counter medications

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

prolonged stress exposure earlier in life linked to flashbacks, rumination, and preoccupied thoughts across the adult lifespan

Posterior-to-Anterior Shift Model (PASA)

cognitive model predicting that with age comes a compensatory shift in which there is reduced activity in the posterior sensory region of the brain versus the anterior region during memory tasks

Pre-clinical dementia

silent phase of dementia whereby the individual may notice subtle changes in cognitive functioning and memory but such changes are undetectable on standard clinical screening tests


phase of retirement in which the individual initializes plan to exit the workforce and view retirement as “something that will happen.”

Primary/Normative aging

Aging as involving universal, acute, and gradual changes or losses that are normatively expected

Problem-focused coping

response to an external stressor in which the individual aims to seek and find a solution when a stressor can be fixed or changed

Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

comprehensive medical and social services to qualified” older adults living in private dwelling within community

Programmed Aging

also referred to as “cellular aging” which adheres to the assumption that human aging is genetically and sequentially pre-determined


ego defense mechanism most common in young adulthood in which unwanted feelings or emotions are displaced onto another person in reaction to an external stressor or threat; often times resulting in passive-aggressive behaviors or “acting out”

Random Error Aging

also referred to as “molecular aging” which considers human aging to be due to fate or chance environmental exposures that contribute to potentially lethal and deadly diseases or mutations

Rate of Living

conceptual idea that different organisms age at varying rates due to required use of metabolism or energy to support cellular and molecular processes

Regulation of loss

Organizing and maintaining lower levels of functioning when full recovery developmental potential(s) may no longer be fully possible

Relationship drift

phenomenon among middle-aged marital or romantic couples that drift apart to pursue self-fulfilling interests which often evolve after experiencing an empty nest, formal retirement, or an evolving long-term health problem.


Capacity to adapt successfully to developmental challenges that threaten everyday functioning

Retirement routine

phase during retirement in which goals and criteria are established relative to how one makes important retirement decision

Retirement termination

phase during retirement in which one eventually decides to re-enter the workforce or accept the conditions of the retirement experience

Sandwich generation

general term applied to middle aged adults who are caught in the middle providing caregiving resources to young children as well as their older parents.

Schism hypothesis

concept that proposes the middle aged adults alternate the use, preservation, and maintenance of care resources to meet the care demands from older parents as well as children/offspring

Secondary aging

also referred to as pathological aging which entails encountering the onset and living with progression of chronic disease and/or long-term disablement

Secondary/Pathological aging

Non-normative, chronic, and progressive age-associated losses that result in living with illness, disease, or disablement


Goals and preferences in the later half of life that are elective and time specific versus those that evolve from loss-based experiences

Selection neutrality

Reproductive fitness and evolutionary pressure to activate genes in the protection against illness, disease, or psychological decline that is less effective during the second or later half of life


reduced cellular division and growth leading to cell death and deterioration in the functioning of complex biological systems (e.g., cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine, etc.) and eventually to death of the organism

Set-Point Model

model of subjective well-being that proposes that humans have a genetically pre-determined baseline level of happiness despite fluctuating extremes in happiness or sadness

Situational imperatives

life course principle that suggests that the timing as well as type of individual choice or decision needed to be made relies on activation of human agency

Social attachment

emotional regulation in the form of secure, anxious-preoccupied, dismissing-avoidant, or fearful-avoidant behaviors that impact perceptions of closeness in ones social relationships

Social convoy

lifetime network of social relationships which persons maintain and regulate in order to ensure sources of support with advancing age

Social Isolation

state of feeling that one socially lacks quality relationship bonds relative to a sense of belonging, engagement, or frequency of contact.

Social loneliness

a lack quality social ties such as friendships or persons with whom one can social do things

Socially Assistive Robots (SARs)

Artificially intelligent and virtual human figure that can socially sense, predit, interact and react and passive and actively monitor human physical, psychological, and social behavior for the purpose of providing assistance while one ages-in-place.

Socially supportive coping

response to an external stressor in which the individual aims to seek and find others whom the trust and with whom they can talk about the stressor

Socio-emotional selectivity

emotionally regulated and goal-directed process by which older adults developmentally maximize emotionally gratifying social ties while minimizing reliance on superficial social relationships

Specific phobia

irrational fear of that some “thing” or somebody being harmful or threatening when in reality there is little to no threat or harm to personal safety

State paradigm

perspective and way of thinking that suggests personality is a process of behavioral instabilities reflecting a “fight of flight” responses in relation to the ebb and flow of experiential or situational states the individual may encounter

Structural plateau

refers to persons who have reached the highest possible level of job advancement and thus no longer have an opportunity to further advance to a higher-level position


Emotion, belief, perception, and self-expression


ego defense mechanism common during late adulthood in which the individual will redirect unwanted or unacceptable feelings and emotions into some other alternative or productive outlet; often times revealed through suppression or anticipation of unwanted feelings or thoughts, altruistic acts toward others, or use of humor.

Successful Aging Model

Conceptual notion that human achieve success in aging if they are able to avoid disease and disability, maintain cognitive and physical functioning, and remain socially engaged with life.


help initiate immune response and serve to destroy antigens


Term used to refer to those older adults who actively use both old and new technologies to engage in everyday activities of daily living as well as meet their biological, psychological, and social needs.


a protective sheath covering the active DNA of a chromosome

Telomere shortening

the shrinking of telomeres which occurs after each cell vision leaving the active part of DNA of a chromosome exposed resulting in damage in the form of illness and disease

Terror Management Theory

theoretical concept that views defense mechanisms as a source of protection against potential risk or threat of anxious feelings and fear of the unknown including the realities of aging or inevitability of mortality

Tertiary aging

aging with progressive and multiple simultaneous losses which shut down biological functioning near the end of life and contribute to an organism’s eventual death

Tertiary/Terminal aging

Multiple disabling and life-threatening conditions that emerge simultaneously near the end-of-life initiating the dying process and leading to death


refers to the experience in which the individual may expect life events to happen (on-time) versus encounter anticipated change within life experience (off-time)

Top-down SWB

life judgements based on subjective interpretation of one’s daily emotional experience

Trait paradigm

perspective and way of thinking that suggest personality is fixed and largely determined by sex and genetic linked traits which are stable and demonstrate little to no variation


long-standing patterns of developmental stability vs. change which serve as indicators of risk (Inequality) and safety (equality) across the course of life


a genetic information transfer (DNA to mRNA)


Points along the individual life course trajectory considered to be normative moments of developmental change (Ex. Graduation from high school, marriage, retirement)


mRNA copy of DNA which is followed by mRNA leaving the cell nucleus where protein is synthesized

Turning points

dramatic transitions marked by substantial and sometimes “traumatic” change in one’s life course development (e.g., divorce, unemployment, accidents)

Type A Personality State

situational or experiential behavioral responses in which individual personality is expressed through anxiety, irritability, hostility, impulsive decision-making, and ego-defense mechanisms

Type B Personality State

situational or experiential behavioral responses in which the individual personality is expresses through passive, trusting, and even-tempered or self-regulating mechanisms

Use it or lose it

idea that engaging forms of work requires the use of higher cognitive functioning skills which contribute to retaining higher levels of mental activity later in life.

Vascular Dementia

referred to as “multi-infarct” dementia; dementia type involving mixed periods of memory loss and poor cognitive functioning and associated vascular blood flood and cardiovascular linked diseases

Vegetative symptoms

primary symptoms of clinical depression in which the individual may express fatigue, loss of interest in everyday activities, or poor concentration or attention.

Well-being paradox

the inverse developmental outcome by which persons tend to be emotionally happier but less satisfied with life with age

White matter hyperintensities

structural presence of brain lesions and atrophy associated with cognitive functioning impairments such as memory deficits, motor functioning impairment, language/verbalization issues, or visual/spatial impairment

Widowhood effect

the increased probability of death among a marital survivor following the death of a spouse

Wisdom in 3-D Model

theoretical conceptualization of wisdom as a beneficial developmental resource consisting of cognitive, reflective, and affective processes


Successful Aging Copyright © 2022 by Alex Bishop. All Rights Reserved.

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