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Accumulation Processes 

Accumulation Processes
Accumulation Processes

Kenneth F. Ferraro

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date: 09 May 2021

Accumulation is a core concept in gerontology, but there is inconsistency in how scholars use the term to describe age-related processes. This chapter identifies the axiom of accumulation processes and reinforces axioms articulated in other chapters, especially multifaceted change. Accumulation involves a gradual amassing of some entity, but the utility of the concept for research on aging hinges on specifying the attributes of the entity and manner in which accumulation occurs. To advance conceptual precision in the use of the term, I delineate ways in which entities may accumulate, isolating concepts such as domains, timing, thresholds, and systemic change. A study of men’s use of supplements to prevent prostate cancer is described to illustrate the importance of accounting for nonlinear thresholds of accumulation.

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