Aging, Health Behaviors, and Health Outcomes

By K. Warner Schaie; Dan Blazer et al. | Go to book overview

more stress during the retirement transition because of the resultant status incongruity. This, in turn, suggests possible greater health consequences for middle socioeconomic status older people, at least around the time of retirement, than for other socioeconomic status individuals.

Finally, it should be noted that if the postponement of morbidity is truly more prevalent in higher socioeconomic strata, then a situation is being created where, with each successive birth cohort, there are more and more highly educated people socialized to value productivity, self-efficacy, independence, but who are forced into a role without opportunities for expressing these values ( Riley & Riley, 1989). This observation raises questions about the psychological and physical health consequences of such discordance for individuals and about the political consequences for the society as a whole. After all, such relative deprivation and status incongruity is the stuff that revolutions are made of ( Abeles, 1976; Runciman, 1968)!


ACKNOWLEDGMENT

While this discussion was written as part of the author's duties as a government employee, the opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the National Institute on Aging.

The advice of Matilda White Riley on an earlier version of these comments is gratefully acknowledged.


REFERENCES

Abeles R. P. ( 1976). "Relative deprivation, rising expectations, and black militancy". Journal of Social Issues, 32, 119-137.

Abeles R. P., & Riley M. W. ( 1976- 1977). "A life-course perspective on the later years of life: Some implications for research". In Social Science Research Council Annual Report (pp. 1-16). New York: Social Science Research Council.

Abeles R. P., & Riley M. W. ( 1987). "Longevity, social structure, and cognitive aging". In C. Schooler & K. W. Schaie (Eds.), Cognitive functioning and social structure over the life course (pp. 161-175). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Abeles R. P., Steel L., & Wise L. L. ( 1980). "Patterns and implications of life-course organization: Studies from Project TALENT". In P. B. Batles & O. G. Brim Jr. (Eds.), Life-span development and behavior (pp. 308-337). New York: Academic Press.

Baltes P. B., & Goulet L. R. ( 1970). "Status and issues of a life-span developmental psychology". In L. R. Goulet & P. B. Baltes (Eds.), Life-span developmental psychology (pp. 4-23). New York: Academic Press.

Baltes P. B., & Willis S. L. ( 1979). "Life-span developmental psychology, cognitive functioning, and social policy". In M. W. Riley (Ed.), Aging from birth to death: Interdisciplinary perspectives (pp. 15-46). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

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