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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board On Behavioral Cognitive and Sensory Sciences
Board On Behavioral Cognitive and Sensory Sciences
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Workshop in Brief
Understanding Pathways to Successful Aging:
How Social and Behavioral Factors Affect Health at Older Ages 

Successful Aging

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 Research has identified many behavioral, social, and biological factors that are associated with healthy aging. Less well understood are possible causal relationships between such factors and positive aging outcomes or the mechanisms through which these factors may influence the aging process. Improved understanding of these relationships is needed to support the design of interventions to promote healthy outcomes at midlife and older ages.

On June 11-12, 2015, BBCSS held a workshop to explore research strategies and ways to build on existing knowledge about influences on aging. During the workshop, presenters reviewed what is known about three exemplar factors that research has demonstrated are associated with healthy aging: optimism, marital satisfaction, and educational attainment; subsequent discussions focused on possible research designs to expand understanding of causal relationships and the mechanisms through which such factors influence aging, including longitudinal studies, molecular and quantitative genetic approaches, and experimental approaches. This report provides a brief summary of the workshop discussions.



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