Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

Peter Martin


The focus of this study was on the mechanisms or resources that older individuals draw upon to adapt to the normative decrepitude of advanced age. To date, no studies have been found that systematically investigate the structural inter-relationships of the self-reported resources (i.e., social, economic, mental, physical, and functional) assessed by the Duke Older American Resources and Services (OARS) instrument among older adults. In particular, because the centenarian group typically struggles with increased hearing, vision, and functional health losses, social resources are especially salient for positive adaptation to these age-related losses. Because social resources has been specified as an exogenous predictor, as a mediator, and as a moderator in various studies, this study's aims also focused on the unique role of social resources relative to other self-reported resources among 321 participants at Time 1 and 201 participants at both Time1 and at Time 2 in the first Georgia Centenarian Study (Poon, Clayton, Martin, Johnson, Courtenay, et al., 1992);The findings from this study contribute to both the applied and theoretical/empirical knowledge base of change in multidimensional resources utilized by older adults as they adapt to the normative declines of aging. First, using the popular Duke OARS (Fillenbaum, 1988) assessment tool, a measurement model including latent variables for Economic Resources, Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, Physical Health, Mental Health, and Social Resources on two measurement occasions was specified and affirmed in a sample of sexagenarians, octogenarians, and centenarians. Second, the interrelationships between these five resource areas were examined over time, including investigation of mediation and moderation by Social Resources. For centenarians in this study, accelerated decline was particularly found for Instrumental Activities of Daily Living and regardless of the level of Social Resources brought to bear on this difficulty, decline over time occurred. Future research may want to examine the interrelationships among these resources for centenarians in particular and pay special attention to the influence of social resources provided by caregivers.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

G. Kevin Randall



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

151 pages