Construction, Deconstruction, and Reconstruction: The Roots of Successful Aging Theories

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The authors’ goals are to examine the evolution of the concept of successful aging and its relevance to nursing science and practice. First, the history of positivist construction of aging in light of disengagement and activity theories is presented. Second, an analysis of the postmodern deconstruction of aging is illustrated with the development of the ageism phenomenon. Third, the beginning of the reconstruction of aging is presented and exemplified by Troutman’s middle-range nursing theory of successful aging, as connected to Roy’s model. Finally, ways in which these theories can be made applicable to nursing practice and research are proposed.

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