Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Research Project
“Lay perspectives on Successful Aging” (2009–2010)
Primary Investigator:
Dr. Daniela S. Jopp (Fordham University)
Project Team at Fordham:  
Jeojung Jung
Sheena Jeswani
Jason Reynolds
Melissa de Feo (project coordinator; ADP graduate student)
Michelle Paggi (ADP graduate student)
Rachel Luba (Undergraduate student)
Former team members:
Jayne Bigelsen (ADP graduate student)
Jacqueline Horan (ADP graduate student)
Zachary Kornhauser (ADP graduate student)
Sumi Raghavan (Clinical graduate student)
Sandra Donnay (ADP graduate student)
Nava Silton (ADP alumn)
Megan Tropea (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Dr. Daniela S. Jopp
Dr. Daniela S. Jopp
Principal Investigator


Although many studies investigate successful aging, there are ongoing discussions among aging researchers about what successful aging means. Despite the lack of scientific consensus, only few studies have addressed what lay persons conceive as successful aging. As it can be problematic to communicate and to develop successful intervention when both scientific and lay perspectives of aging well do not match, the present study tries to explore in more detail whether laypersons’ ideas about successful aging are reflected in theories on successful aging.


The main goal of the present study is to gain more insight into how lay persons define successful aging and which factors they conceive as important for aging well.


Young, middle-aged, and older individuals (N = 150) from diverse ethnic backgrounds answer open questions, including how they define successful aging, and what they consider as determinants. After establishing a coding schema derived from their answers, these are linked to established questionnaires such as aging satisfaction and well-being.


Data collection is completed and data coding and analysis is ongoing.

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