Continuity Theory and Retirement

Monika E. von Bonsdorff and Juhani Ilmarinen

in The Oxford Handbook of Retirement

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199746521
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Continuity Theory and Retirement

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Continuity theory provides a framework for understanding how adults employ their past concepts, constructs, and experiences to adapt and adjust to the changes brought about by normal aging. The theory assumes that middle-aged and older individuals attempt to preserve existing internal and external continuity when making adaptive choices in their lives. Continuity theory has been used in understanding adjustment to retirement. In addition, work ability, which refers to the balance between employees’ resources and job demands, can be understood from a continuity perspective. This perspective is important in light of the recent development in workforce participation of older employees and the trend toward early exit from working life. Work ability varies across time and enables participation in working life at older ages, provided that the job demands are in relation to individuals’ resources.

Keywords: internal continuity; external continuity; retirement; adaptation; work ability

Article.  11264 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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