Perceptions of Longevity and Successful Aging in Very Old Adults

Katie E. Cherry, Louisiana State University.
Loren D. Marks, Louisiana State University.
Tim Benedetto, Louisiana State University.
Marisa C. Sullivan, Louisiana State University.
Alyse Barker, Louisiana State University.


We examined perceptions of longevity and successful aging in young-old (60 to 74 years), old-old (75 to 89 years), and oldest-old (90 + years) adults drawn from the (LHAS). Participants' responses to three open-ended questions that assessed their attributions for longevity, what they look forward to, and advice for younger persons today were compared. Content analyses yielded three emergent themes: maintaining physical, mental, and relational well-being; living a healthy life; and living a faithful life. Implications of these findings for current views on successful aging and insights for promoting a long and healthy life are considered.