Changes in Functional Status among Older Adults in Japan: Successful and Usual Aging

Jersey Liang*, Neal M. Krause, Joan M. Bennett, Caroline Blaum, Benjamin A. Shaw, Erika Kobayashi, Taro Fukaya, Yoko Sugihara, Hidehiro Sugisawa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


This research aimed to chart the trajectories of functional status in old age in Japan and to assess how self-rated health and cognitive functioning differentiate these trajectories and account for interpersonal differences. Data came from a 5-wave panel study of a national sample of 2,200 Japanese older adults between 1987 and 1999. The sample as a whole showed an accelerated increase in functional limitations with age, approximated by a quadratic function. More important, 3 major trajectories of functional change were identified: (a) minimal functional decrement, (b) early onset of functional impairment, and (c) late onset of functional impairment. These findings may serve as useful benchmarks for observations derived from other developed nations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)684-695
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology and aging
Issue number4
StatePublished - 12 2003
Externally publishedYes


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