Gerotranscendence: Psychological Content and Theoretical Models



This paper considers the psychological content of gerotranscendence theory by L.Tornstam. Aging is a complex and multilevel process. The present paper examines the paradigm of the biopsychosocial model that encompasses the biological, psychological and social level, and psychological characteristics are seen as possible moderators of both biological and social levels. Gerotranscendence theory is a systemic model of optimal aging that includes a set of transitions taking place at the level of the personality, society and cosmos. This model offers an explanation for the specifics of psychological reflection of realm and interaction with the world in aging. This paper suggests predictors, factors and possible outcomes of the gerotranscendence changes on most general characteristics of one’s functioning such as psychological well-being and health. In the paper we hypothesize two alternative models of the formation of gerotranscendence: normative and qualitative. We describe possible triggers for its formation, and show that gerotranscendence can be seen as obligatory formation of aging or as a qualitative change.

General Information

Keywords: psychology of aging, gerotranscendence, positive aging, development, psychological resources

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Strizhitskaya O.Y. Gerotranscendence: Psychological Content and Theoretical Models. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2017. Vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 268–280. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


Strizhitskaya O.Yu. Osnovy psikhogerontologii [Basics of psychogerontology]. St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg University, 2016. 77 p. (In Russian)

Information About the Authors

Olga Y. Strizhitskaya, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Head of the Department of Developmental Psychology and Differential Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Saint-Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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