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Multifaceted Change 

Multifaceted Change
Chapter:
Multifaceted Change
Author(s):

Kenneth F. Ferraro

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190665340.003.0004
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date: 09 May 2021

Aging involves multiple related systems; change in one system influences other systems. Nathan Shock referred to aging as a dynamic equilibrium and argued that studying the interrelationships of multiple systems is essential for gerontology. A growing number of researchers study relations across systems, but many focus on syndromes of declining health or function, without much regard for alternative scenarios such as nonlinear change and compensatory mechanisms. The axiom of multifaceted change contends that viewing aging as a syndrome of decline oversimplifies the changes involved. Instead, gerontology needs a biopsychosocial model to study aging as a multidirectional change process across multiple systems. Research on how social factors influence telomere length is used to illustrate this axiom.

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