Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya • ISSN 2075-7999
peer-reviewed • open access journal


2017 Vol 10 Issue 54

Balashova E. Yu. Cultural-historical determinants of aging: past and present

Full text in Russian: Балашова Е.Ю. Культурно-исторические детерминанты старения: прошлое и настоящее

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

Psychological Institute, Moscow, Russia
Mental Health Research center, Moscow, Russia
Moscow State Regional University, Moscow, Russia

About author
Suggested citation

In the present article considers the problem of cultural-historical determinants of aging that are relevant to developmental psychology, clinical psychology, gerontology and geriatrics.The author conducts a comparative analysis of the perception of old age in different cultures and in different historical periods. The special urgency of the theme chosen is related to global demographic changes and the need for understanding the multilevel and multidirectional reconstructions that occur with personality, cognitive sphere, behavior, social activity and adaptation of aging people. To objectify a number of cross-cultural and historical differences in attitudes to age and ageing allows an appeal to proverbs, myths, literary works, religion, humanities and natural sciences concepts of different countries and peoples. The article commented on various images of old age in Russian and Chinese proverbs, dedicated to the old  statements of Confucius, the ideas of Buddhism and Daosism, views on the old age of Platon, Aristotel, Marcus Tullius Cicero, Lucius Anney Seneca, writers and poets of the middle Ages and the Renaissance (Dante, Hans Sachs, Erasmus, Francois Villon, etc.). The author discusses the reasons for the emphasis on the pessimistic aspects of old age in Russian folk proverbs and disparity in the inclusion of old age and ageing in the context of  " humorous " culture in Russia and in Europe. Special attention is paid to the reflection of aging in Russian literature of  the 19th century (in works of A.S.Pushkin, N.V.Gogol, I.S.Turgenev, F.I.Tutchev). The author emphasizes that today, unfortunately, for many elderly and old people are characterized by lack of development of reflection about their own life and personality; concern rather the material well-being and physical health than cognitive development; the conviction that the deterioration of memory and decline in other mental functions, is an obligate symptom of normal aging. The author makes conclusion about necessity of purposeful formation of psychological culture of aging in contemporary society and positive images of old age as an important late stage of ontogenesis.

cultural-historical determinants, aging, old age, psychology, philosophy


The study was supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project the16-06-00161.


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Received 11 April 2017. Date of publication: 26 August 2017.

About author

Balashova  Elenа Yu.  Ph.D., Leading Research Associate, Lomonosov Moscow State University, ul. Mokhovaya, 11–9, 125009 Moscow, Russia; Senior Research Associate, Psychological Institute, ul. Mokhovaya, 9–4, 125009 Moscow, Russia; Senior Research Associate, Mental Health Research Center, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Kashirskoe sh., 34, 115522 Moscow, Russia; Senior Research Associate, Moscow State Regional University, ul. Radio, 10A, 105005 Moscow, Russia.
Е-mail: Этот адрес электронной почты защищен от спам-ботов. У вас должен быть включен JavaScript для просмотра.

Suggested citation

Balashova E. Yu. Cultural-historical determinants of aging: past and present. Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya, 2017, Vol. 10, No. 54, p. 3. (in Russian, abstr. in English).

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