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Human Development and Family Studies

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Journal of Aging Research



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The majority of studies on longevity have focused disproportionally on biomedical aspects of longevity [1]. While biomedical aspects undoubtedly play an important role in determining the length and quality of life, there are also a number of important social, psychological, and behavioral factors associated with longevity. Recent research has demonstrated that distal experiences such as education [2] and childhood personality [3] as well as proximal behaviors such as nutritional behaviors [4], coping with stress [5], and social support [6] are all important components in determining mortality, longevity, and quality of life among very old people.

This special issue on behavioral factors of longevity attempts to highlight important behavioral factors associated with longevity. We pose two important questions. The first question concerns predictors of longevity. Why do some people live to a very long life whereas others do not? The second question concerns the quality of life for individuals who have lived a very long life. What is life like when one reaches nonagenarian or centenarian status? We were, therefore, guided by two separate but interrelated aspects of longevity research: studies discussing factors contributing to longevity and studies discussing behavioral aspects among long-lived individuals.


This article is published as 76. Martin, P., Poon, L. W., & Hagberg, B. (2011). Editorial - Behavioral factors of longevity. Journal of Aging Research, 2011, 1-2. doi: 10.4061/2011/197590. Posted with permission.

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