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Maturing into Gerotranscendence
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. (Socialgerontologi)
2011 (English)In: The Journal of TransPersonal Psychology, ISSN 022-524X, Vol. 43, no 2, 166-180 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

According to the empirically based theory of gerotranscendence, the individual moving toward gerotranscendence may experience a series of gerotranscendental changes or developments. These include a redefinition of the self and of relationships to others, as well as a new understanding of fundamental existential questions. It is not farfetched to associate this with a kind of transpersonal development. Gerotranscendence, however, does not imply any state of withdrawal or disengagement, as is sometimes believed. It is not the old disengagement theory in a new disguise. Rather, it is a theory describing a developmental pattern that goes beyond the old dualism of activity and disengagement. Research in various parts of the world confirms the existence of gerotranscendence, and lately a promising new type of counseling based on the theory has been created in countries as widely dispersed as Sweden and Taiwan.

Author Note: The theory of gerotranscendence was born, almost 25 years ago, to address what I saw as a mismatch between present theories in social gerontology and some existing empirical data. Based on intellectual input from scholars such as Jung and Erikson, together with qualitative as well as quantitative data, I have been able to capture a certain kind of positive aging in a grounded-theory-like concept I have called gerotranscendence. The theory suggests that human aging includes a potential to mature into a new outlook on and understanding of life. Gerotranscendence implies a shift in meta-perspective, from a materialistic and rational view of the world to a more cosmic and transcendent one, normally accompanied by an increase in life satisfaction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Palo Alto: Transpersonal Institute , 2011. Vol. 43, no 2, 166-180 p.
Keyword [en]
Gerotranscendence
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-172266OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-172266DiVA: diva2:513771
Available from: 2012-04-03 Created: 2012-04-03 Last updated: 2012-04-05Bibliographically approved

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