Toward an integrative science of life-span development and aging

Scott M. Hofer, Andrea M. Piccinin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The study of aging demands an integrative life-span developmental framework, involving interdisciplinary collaborations and multiple methodological approaches for understanding how and why individuals change, in both normative and idiosyncratic ways. We highlight and summarize some of the issues encountered when conducting integrative research for understanding aging-related change, including, the integration of results across different levels of analysis; the integration of theory, design, and analysis; and the synthesis of results across studies of aging. We emphasize the necessity of longitudinal designs for understanding development and aging and discuss methodological issues that should be considered for achieving reproducible research on within-person processes. It will be important that current and future studies permit opportunities for quantitative comparison across populations given the extent to which historical shifts and cultural differences influence life-span processes and aging-related outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-278
Number of pages10
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume65 B
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Cross-cultural differences
  • Developmental methods
  • Life course and developmental change
  • Longitudinal change
  • Measurement
  • Quantitative methods
  • Research Methods and Issues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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