Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

Peter Martin


Longevity is important for successful aging. The present research is designed to examine if oldest-old adults are successful agers or not and what predictors are associated with psychological well-being among oldest-old adults. Based on Rowe and Kahn's (1997& 1998) successful aging model and Martin and Martin's (2002) developmental adaptation model, the data reported in the current study were collected from proxy reports of 234 centenarians and 72 octogenarians of the Georgia Centenarian Study. Only 15% of octogenarians and no centenarian satisfied all three criteria of the successful aging model, over 62% of all octogenarians and 47% of all centenarians satisfied all criteria of an alternative successful aging model that included subjective health, perceived economic well-being, and perceived happiness. No significant predictors of successful aging and psychological well-being were found, but two significant interaction effects suggested that the effects of physical functioning and cognitive functioning on psychological well-being depended on age. In addition, physical health impairment and social resources had significant direct effects on psychological well-being and physical functioning, cognitive functioning, and education had indirect effects on psychological well-being. These results suggest that an alternative model of successful aging model is needed to understand a more holistic picture of successful aging among oldest-old adults. It is important for researchers and practitioners to consider proximal and distal influences for successful aging and psychological well-being.


Copyright Owner

Jinmyoung Cho



Date Available


File Format


File Size

136 pages