Skip to main content Accessibility help

The concept of ‘ageing well’ in ten Latin American and European countries

  • R. FERNÁNDEZ-BALLESTEROS (a1), L F. GARCIA (a1), D. ABARCA (a2), E. BLANC (a3), A. EFKLIDES (a4), D. MORAITOU (a4), R. KORNFELD (a5), A. J. LERMA (a6), V. M. MENDOZA-NUMEZ (a7), N. M. MENDOZA-RUVALCABA (a8), T. OROSA (a9), C. PAUL (a10) and S. PATRICIA (a11)...


A review of several studies examining the lay concept of successful ageing and related concepts leads to the conclusion that elders from different cultures appear to agree on most of the components identified in the literature. From the research emerges a multidimensional conceptualisation of ‘successful ageing’ that is described on the basis of physical, emotional, cognitive and social domains, and which coincides with most theoretical and empirical definitions. The main goal of the present research is to study similarities and differences between concepts of ‘successful ageing’ in several Latin American and European countries and in two different age groups, and also to examine whether a similar structure of the lay concept can be found across both continents. The results show minor differences at item levels among countries, continents and age groups, and a similar internal structure across them.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Rocío Fernández-Ballesteros, Department of Biopsychology, Autonomous University of Madrid, 28049-Madrid, Spain. E-mail:


Hide All
Bearon, L. B. 1996. Successful ageing: what does the ‘goodlife’ look like? The Forum, 3, 17.
Bowling, A. 2007. Aspiration for older age in the 21st century: what is successful ageing? International Journal of Ageing and Human Development, 64, 3, 263–97.
Bull, V. L. 2005. Successful ageing and the Chinese-American elder. Dissertation Abstracts International, 65, 4434.
Cattell, R. B. 1978. The Scientific Use of Factor Analysis in the Behavioral and Life Sciences. New York, Plenum.
Fernández-Ballesteros, R. 2008. Active Ageing: The Contribution of Psychology. Hogrefe and Huber, Gottingën, Germany.
Fernández-Ballesteros, R., García, L. F., Abarca, A., Blanc, L., Efklide, A., Kornfeld, R., Lerma, A. J., Mendoza-Nuñez, V., Mendoza-Ruvalcaba, N. M., Orosa, T., Paúl, C. and Patricia, S. 2008. Lay concept of ageing well: cross-cultural comparisons. Journal of American Geriatric Society, 56, 5, 950–52.
Hambleton, R. K. 2001. The next generation of the ITC test translation and adaptation guidelines. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 17, 3, 164–72.
Humphreys, L. G. and JrMontanelli, R. G. 1975. An investigation of the parallel analysis criterion for determining the number of common factors. Multivariate Behavioural Research, 10, 2, 193205.
Hsu, H. C. 2006. Exploring elderly people's perspectives on successful ageing in Taiwan. Ageing & Society, 27, 1, 87–102.
Jensen, A. R. 1998. The G Factor: The Science of Mental Ability. Praeger, Westport, Connecticut.
Knight, T. and Ricciardelli, L. A. 2003. Successful ageing: perceptions of adults aged between 70 and 101 years. International Journal of Ageing Human Development, 56, 3, 223–46.
Litwin, H. 2005. Correlates of successful ageing: are they universal? International Journal of Ageing and Human Development, 61, 4, 313–33.
Loehlin, J. C. 1992. Latent Variable Models: An Introduction to Factor, Path, and Structural Analysis. Erlbaum, Mahwah, New Jersey.
Lorenzo-Seva, U. and Ferrando, P. J. 2006. FACTOR: A computer program to fit the exploratory factor analysis model. Behavioral Research Methods, Instruments and Computers, 38, 1, 8891.
Matsubayashi, K., Ishine, M., Wada, T. and Okumiya, K. 2006. Older adults' view of ‘successful ageing’: comparison of older Japanese and Americans. Journal of American Geriatrics Society, 54, 1, 184–7.
McArdle, J. J. 1996. Current direction in structural factor analysis. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 5, 1, 1118.
Phelan, E. A., Anderson, L. A., Lacroix, A.-Z. and Larson, E. B. 2004. Older adults' views of ‘successful ageing’: how do they compare with researchers' definitions? Journal of American Geriatric Society, 52, 2, 211–16.
Reichsadt, J., Depp, C. A., Palinkas, L. A., Folsom, D. P. and Jeste, D. V. 2007. Building blocks of successful ageing: a focus group study of older adults' perceived contributors to successful ageing. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 15, 3, 194201.
Ryff, C. D. 1989. In the eye of the beholder: views of psychological well-being among middle-aged and older adults. Psychology and Ageing, 4, 2, 195210.
Schmid, J. and Leiman, J. M. 1957. The development of hierarchical factor solutions. Psychometrika, 22, 1, 5361.
Sternberbg, R. J. 1990. Methaphors of Mind. Cambridge University Press, New York.
Tate, R. B., Lah, L. and Cuddy, E. 2003. Definition of successful aging by elderly Canadian males: the Manitoba follow-up study. The Gerontologist, 43, 5, 735–44.
United Nations Organisation 2002. International Plan of Action on Ageing. UNO, New York.
Von Faber, M., Van der Wield, A. B., Van Excel, E., Gussekloo, J., Lagaay, A. M., Van Dongen, E. V., Knook, D. L., Van der Ges, S. and Westendorf, R. G. J. 2001. Successful ageing in the oldest old. Archives of Internal Medicine, 161, 22, 2694–700.
World Health Organisation. 2002. Active Ageing. WHO, Geneva.


The concept of ‘ageing well’ in ten Latin American and European countries

  • R. FERNÁNDEZ-BALLESTEROS (a1), L F. GARCIA (a1), D. ABARCA (a2), E. BLANC (a3), A. EFKLIDES (a4), D. MORAITOU (a4), R. KORNFELD (a5), A. J. LERMA (a6), V. M. MENDOZA-NUMEZ (a7), N. M. MENDOZA-RUVALCABA (a8), T. OROSA (a9), C. PAUL (a10) and S. PATRICIA (a11)...


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed