Prolonging Vitality

Preface

Alan E. Kazdin, PhD, the 2008 President of the American Psychological Association, stated in the preface to the original "Prolonging Vitality" document that he commissioned:

“As a society, we face many challenges, and we depend on science to help. Whether we seek to halt global climate change, cure devastating diseases, reduce crime, end poverty, diminish health disparities, or achieve vitality in old age, advances in modern science are expected to help.

The science of psychology contributes to deeper understanding of these and many other societal challenges. The American Psychological Association is devoting significant resources and energy to bringing the best of psychological science to the forefront. In partnership with other fields of science, solutions will be found.

This booklet is one in a series, examining the insights of psychological science into challenges facing society. Each booklet focuses on a key challenge, provides a sampling of what we currently know, and suggests promising avenues for future research. The published work of scientists is cited, so that readers can learn more on their own.

We indeed face many challenges, and together we can solve them!”

Given the document’s continued relevance and importance in discussions of the growing U.S. older adult population, the American Psychological Association Committee on Aging updated and revised this publication in 2014.